SLHF                                                      May/June  2014 


What is the status of the SLHF

permanent museum?  

This is a great question and one that we at the museum are asked often!  In my article for this newsletter, I will give you an update on where we are in the process.  As I get ready to write this, I am reminded of that often used phrase in the movies:  "IT'S COMPLICATED!"


Allow me to give you some background information.  SLHF was officially chartered with the State of Texas in March of 2008.  SLHF held its first meeting in October of 2008.  In February of 2009, SLHF was given its official  non-profit status by the IRS.


However, before any of these significant events took place, the City of Sugar Land was laying the foundation for a future museum.  In June of 2007, a contract between Cherokee Partners (a North Carolina corporation that specializes in redeveloping old industrial sites) and the City of Sugar Land was approved.  This agreement is often referred to as the "Developers' Agreement".


As you would imagine, there are lots of terms and stipulations in that agreement.  For this article, I will reference the one that is most pertinent to our topic, and I am paraphrasing:  "The Developers" will set aside the first or second floor of the  Char House or a site that is mutually acceptable to both "The City" and "The Developers".  It is important to note that each floor of the Char House is approximately 8,000 square feet.  So, we know that the permanent museum will be at least 8,000 square feet in size.


Fast forward about six years to Spring of 2013.  SLHF is now an established organization and we have received grant money to do a study of our future museum and what the museum will contain.  In that study, our nationally recognized museum consultants, Jack Rouse Associates of Cincinnati, OH, determined that there are at least two other sites on the old Imperial Refinery Site that are better locations for our permanent museum than the first or second floor of the Char House.  It is also important to note that in that same six year time frame, "The Developers" have also determined that the Char House would make a good site for an office building or a 'boutique' hotel, and not a museum.


I think it is fair to summarize the situation going into the summer of 2013 as follows:  All parties involved know that the first or second floor of the Char House is the contracted site for the museum in the "Developer's Agreement" but through independent research, it is determined that the Char House should be re-purposed for something other than a museum.  Thus starts the process of determining what is the "mutually agreeable" site.


As you would easily guess, all parties have a site(s) that they think would be best for the museum.  So through the remained of 2013, there was dialogue on these respective sites.  In January of 2014, "The City" and "The Developers" amended the "Developers' Agreement" in several ways.  One of the components that was modified was that all parties will agree on a permanent site for the museum by the summer of 2014.  With that accord in place, everyone is earnestly doing their due diligence to make that happen.  I look forward to updating you on the progress that is being made.  


In the interim, SLHF continues to actively go forward with a number of events and programs that meet our mission statement.  Come join us as SLHF inspires community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas.



To find out more about SLHF, visit our website at

Proper Preservation Practices For Old Photographs

Photographs are a great way to learn about the past and no, I am not talking about the ones so many people take on their phones now days! They offer us a window into days gone by where we can, for a short time anyway, see the past rather than read about it in the pages of a book. Pictures bring forth images to our mind that the written word simply cannot. Many people have pictures they treasure whether they are recent or are old family photos from long ago. But if we want these items to be around for the next generation to enjoy, then proper preservation practices need to be followed because photographs (especially old ones) can become very fragile over time and will degrade if they are not stored in the right environment.


Due to the brief nature of this article, I simply cannot get into a complex discussion on the chemistry affecting the photos but I can outline a few important concepts on proper preservation methods. In general, there are two major forces at work that play a major role in the destruction of photographs. The first of these is temperature. If photos are stored in a hot dry environment (like an attic) they will become brittle over time and can crack, break, tear, stick together, melt, discolor or otherwise become useless. Photos should always be stored at a temperature of 68 degrees or below. The second culprit causing damage is
relative humidity (or RH). Here in the Houston area, controlling RH will always be a constant problem but the RH will need to be between 35% to 45%. At the Heritage Foundation, we use several dehumidifiers to achieve this level and the equipment we use is available to the general public (more on that in a moment). Generally speaking, photos need to be stored between these two ranges to avoid most types of damage. Just a side note, film (depending on what it's made of) can require a different set of temperature ranges for storage and can often be placed in a frost free freezer or cold storage but more on that in a future article.


So now that storage environment and temperatures ranges have been discussed, there is one final piece of the puzzle and that is proper storage containers. Archival quality storage boxes should always be used for proper long term storage. These types of boxes will always be acid free and buffered and sometimes are lignin free (comes from wood) as well. All of the storage containers we use here at the Heritage Foundation can be purchased by the public and at the end of this article I have listed several web sites that we order from. However, these items can be expensive and it is important to shop around and buy in bulk when possible.  


Old photographs can severely degrade over time so it is important to remember that proper environmental conditions and proper (archival quality) storage containers are critical for long term preservation of not only old photographs but most historic artifacts as well. With all the ways to digitize photos now days, you might want to consider making a digital copy of your picture (for display) and then place the original in proper long term storage. As long as the correct steps are taken and photos are placed in the proper temperature and RH levels along with archival quality storage containers, you should be able to enjoy those old family treasures for generations to come.  


Helpful websites: (Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts)  They offer a wide range of conservation services to the public.  (We buy products from this company for our collection.) (compare prices between the two.  Often they compete with one another). 



"Life Was Good in a Good Company Town!"

We are excited to announce that Diane L. Ware will be speaking on what life was like in Sugar Land when it was a company town, owned by the Imperial Sugar Company.  Ms. Ware will give insight into the situations and personalities that shaped this atypical community's daily life, from the early 1900s to the late 1950s, with special emphasis on the impact that World War I, the Depression, and World War II had on Sugar Land and Fort Bend County, based on the recollections of town residents.

Diane, a 36 year resident of Sugar Land, researched our company town for her master's thesis.  She is a member of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission and is a former president of the Texas Oral History Association.  She recently co-authored three books on the history of Baylor College of Medicine, and currently works for the Fort Bend County Museum Association.

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at the Sugar Land Auditorium, 226 Lakeview Dr., Sugar Land, TX 77498.  This presentation is free to the public and is underwritten by the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation.


Colleen McGlocklin is the latest addition to our staff, serving as Dennis Parmer's Marketing and Administrative Assistant.  Her family moved from Basking Ridge, NJ to Missouri City, TX in 1976,
and Colleen graduated from Dulles High School in 1978.  She got her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Communications from U of H in 1982.  Her career has been mainly in advertising and sales with time out to raise a family.  Colleen has also been a substitute teacher in the Katy and Cy-Fair school districts when her children were in school.  She has a keen interest in American history and in architecture, specifically from the 1920s and 1930s, and has served as a docent in the Houston Heights.  Colleen feels that it is a thrill to be even a small part of the great vision for SLHF and the Imperial Redevelopment program.  We are happy to have her join us!
SAVE THE DATE!!  JUNE 13, 2014


We are working with the Sugar Land Skeeters to turn the regularly scheduled game on June 13th into a Retro Night of Baseball.  SLHF has been researching old pictures in an effort to help the Skeeters in designing uniforms for the game.  Jerseys and caps will have a look reminiscent of the 1920s - 1930s era of baseball.

There will be an auction of the jerseys worn by the players that night.  The details of the auction will be available at the game that evening.  This is a great chance to get a one-of-a-kind jersey!  Successful bidders will be able to get their picture taken with the respective player as well as getting the player's autograph.

As a reminder, this is a regular season game, so your season tickets are good for the game.  Additional tickets will be available for the game via the Skeeters website.

It will be a great night of baseball with an old timey theme.  Hope to see you there!


Will there be bricks???  Come and find out!

SLHF will hold our next Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, May 31st, from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.  This is a great opportunity to help out the Heritage Foundation.  There will be projects that almost anyone (13 years or older) can participate in.  For example:  

  • Restocking/rearranging items for the Gift Shop
  • Light office cleaning (may include 'Swiffering' of floors)
  • Weather permitting:  cleaning of collection items that have been stored in warehouses
  • Rearranging Storage Closet (some moderately heavy lifting is required)
  • Transporting collection items to offsite storage location (some moderately heavy lifting is required).  If you have a pick-up truck, you would be a great help in this project!

Regardless of your project, you will meet some wonderful people who have a desire to preserve the heritage of Sugar Land and this area.  Come join the team; you will be glad  

that you did.  To volunteer, please contact Carolyn Gilligan, SLHF Volunteer Coordinator, at

SLHF Board Members in Lockdown

We are in the process of wrapping up a successful Virtual Lockdown at Imperial.  We would like to thank everyone who participated, and SLHF would especially like to thank the following:
  • Our Sponsors:  Methodist Hospital, Consolidated Home Health, PCD Management, LJA Engineering, and the Sugar Land Skeeters
  • SLHF Board members and their spouses
  • Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 4, Trevor Nehls and officers, for providing virtual security for the promotional pictures
  • Lomonte's Italian Restaurant and Braman Wines for the excellent food and wines served at our reception

The Lockdown accomplished three goals:  increased public awareness of SLHF, raised money for SLHF projects and operations, and increased public awareness of the Imperial Redevelopment Project, our future museum site. 


To inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas.

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Dennis Parmer
Executive Director

Colleen McGlocklin
Marketing & Administrative Assistant

Chris Bohannan
Lead Archivist

Chuck Kelly
Assistant Archivist
Board of Directors

W. Martin Nicholas
Shay Shafie
Vice President

Bettye Anhaiser
Regina Morales

Bob Brown
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Sharon Ehrenkranz
Carl Favre
Bruce Kelly
Steve Porter
Bill Schwer
Don Smithers
John Whitmore

Farmers' Market
Every Saturday
9:00 - 1:00

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum
Every Saturday
9:00 - 1:00

Docent-led Walks
2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00

$10 for adults
$5 for 12 - 18
Free for under 12

The next 3 walks are    May 10th, June 14th and July 12th


Samantha Chan
Scott Coffee
Alyssa Coffey
Carolyn Gilligan
Jane Goodsill
Hal Jay
Paula Jay
Bruce Kelly
Marc Martinez
Shaleen Miller
Marisa Parks
Roberta Prater
Tracy Prater
Anish Rao
Betty Schofield
Marsha Smith
Miriam Watson
Cherry Wong

Dennis's Wish List!

Fire Proof Cabinet for Archivist Area


Matching Chairs with Rollers for Conference Table (8 or 10)


Steel Shelving to Store Artifact Collection


Funds for Build-Out for Museum Exhibits


Folding Tables & Chairs


Presentation Screen


Transcription Machine for Oral Histories



Braman Wines
Lomonte Pizzaria


Carolyn Gilligan

Cherry Wong

Betty Schofield

(unfilled at this time)

Haroldetta Robertson

Marsha Smith

Roy Wiffin

Becky Parmer

Aisling Venza

Raymond McDonald