SLHF                                               JANUARY/FEBRUARY  2015

Dennis Parmer ED photo  




A few years ago, my son, Jonathan, gave me the New King James Version (NKJV)  Chronological Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, as a Christmas present.  Please permit me a quick book review as a preface to this article.

A couple of features make this Bible different from the more common NKJV.  The first is that it is arranged in chronological order of when it was written.  A renowned group of scholars researched and determined as best as possible when the biblical texts were written.  In "their" projected chronological order, sometimes chapters/texts from the books are separated and interspersed with other books/texts that the team determined were written at the same time.  The book of Isaiah is a good example of where the scholars split the book and interspersed it into several time frames.  As you would expect, there were different conjectures/interpretations of when/where a particular text was written.  In these cases, an explanation/alternative time frame is notated by the scholarly team.  Another feature of this Bible is that it contains many charts, time lines, inserts, and overviews of events that were taking place at the particular time this text/book of the Bible was being written.  These give the reader a perspective of what else was happening in the world at that time.

OK, now I will start the tie-in.  Just as there are multiple authors whose collective works form the Bible, there are multiple persons whose works have contributed to the documentation of the history/heritage of Sugar Land.  Each book has aspects that make it unique from the others.  At the same time there are common aspects that they all have.  Listed below are four books: 
  • In 1986, a dedicated group led by Dee Hamilton, Bettye Anhaiser, and Jane McMeans produced the book, SUGAR LAND A Pictorial Tribute. There were only 3,000 copies of this book printed.  SLHF does not have any of these books for sale.
  • In 1991, Robert Armstrong, past president of Imperial Sugar, wrote the book Sugar Land, Texas and The Imperial Sugar Company.  Mr. Armstrong's book is often referenced as "the bible" of books about Sugar Land and Imperial Sugar.  SLHF does have copies of Mr. Armstrong's book for sale.
  • In 1994, Diane L. Ware wrote her master's thesis titled Creating a Company Town:  William T. Eldridge, Isaac H. Kempner and Sugar Land, Texas (1906-1947) and Diane's book can be viewed at the University of Houston's Anderson Library.  Diane also recently used her thesis as the basis for a very insightful presentation at the Sugar Land Auditorium.  SLHF will have video excerpts from Diane's presentation ready for viewing at our temporary museum beginning April of 2015.
  • In 2010, Bruce Kelly, Jane Goodsill, Pat Pollicoff and many others contributed to the book Images of America:  Sugar Land from Arcadia Publishing.  SLHF has these books for sale.

There have been numerous newspaper, magazine, internet articles and blogs written about Sugar Land/Fort Bend County.  Very similar to the books of the Bible and the books referenced above, each author has addressed a topic/subject/perspective as well as a target audience with the article.   


We as a community should celebrate that these individuals saw the need to document and communicate the rich history/heritage of Sugar Land/Fort Bend County.  We also should recognize and express our thanks that they took the time and made the effort to write their respective works.


I have only addressed 'written works' in this article, but there is a whole different universe out there when it comes to video.  Just think how many videos there are on all the different devices from VHS to Smart Phones!!!


In conclusion, even if you are not a published author or videographer (professional or amateur) you can be a part of the preservation and celebration of Sugar Land/Fort Bend County in several different ways.  SLHF would welcome your donations of time, services and/or cash.


The mission of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation is to inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas.  Come join us, contact us at 281-494-0261 or visit our website at


Regards and Happy New Year,




As 2014 comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to review all the things we have accomplished this year.  One major milestone that the archiving department achieved was completing all work on a large collection given to the Foundation by the City.

This collection makes up the core of our artifacts and will be very useful to us as we move forward.  I could not have done this without the help of Chuck Kelly, a true SLHF asset!  I am currently about halfway through another important collection, The Richard Brown Collection, and hope to be finished with it by the end of January, 2015.  This collection is also very important to us and will add valuable insight to our future museum!

The many events held this year at the SLFH came and went so fast (Turn Back the Clock, fund raisers and work days)  that we would not have been able to complete these projects without the hard work of all of our wonderful volunteers.  I would like to take a moment to personally thank a few of them.

I give my heartfelt thanks to James and Cherry Wong.  I have worked alongside both of them often this year, and I am thankful for all their hard work.  I was also lucky enough to work with John and Thelma Loper this year on many of our work days, and I am very appreciative of all their hard work.

And thanks to all the many volunteers and their work this past year.  Volunteers are the life blood of museums, and we simply could not operate without them.  All of you who helped us out this year, give yourselves a big pat on the back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their families and I look forward to another productive year for the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.

Best wishes,

Chris Bohannan, Lead Archivist



Jane Goodsill, Chair of the Oral History Committee of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission, will share funny, serious, heart-stopping,  amazing and lucky stories of World War II taken from interviews of five Fort Bend County veterans:  Mason Briscoe, Bill Krehmeier, Ernest Kubosh, Robert Schumann, and Joe Clyde Wessendorf.

Jane Goodsill  with her husband, Bruce Kelly,
 who is a local  Sugar Land historian. 

Jane grew up in Hawaii but is a 34-year resident of Sugar Land.  She became interested in local history when she bought The Teacherage, an historic home in The Flats in old Sugar Land.  Her fascination with Sugar Land evolved into an interest in collecting oral histories from residents of the county.  Interviewing comes easily to her because of her Masters in Psychology and her genuine interest in people.

Please join us at 7:00 pm at the Sugar Land Auditorium, 226 Lakeview Drive, for the presentation on Tuesday, February 17th.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.  This free and open to the public event is sponsored by the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation, the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, and the Fort Bend County Historical Commission. 


This contraption used to be in the front room of the Museum, and children enjoyed pushing the buttons and seeing a video of the sugar-making process.  One day it just quit working, and we despaired of finding anyone who could repair it.

Mike Hinkle of Techno Chaos came to our rescue - that's Mike peering into the back of the display!  As you can see, the display was built with push buttons and neon bulbs, with a video display in the center of the console.

Mike decided to replace the background controls and automation with a Raspberry Pi controller, custom interface boards and Python programming.  Now the display works with all its functionality (the neon lights had quit working long before the push buttons and the display died).  It should be up and running no later than February 2015 after some final adjustments are made.

All labor was donated by Techno Chaos without cost to the Museum, a true labor of love.  We are very grateful to Mike and Techno Chaos for giving new life to our display.  The children who visit the museum LOVED pushing the buttons and watching the video, and their parents seemed to enjoy it just as much!

 Mike Hinkle, hard at work on our display

On November 1st, more than fifty high school juniors and seniors from all over Fort Bend County helped sort and preserve bricks at the former Imperial Refinery site.  The bricks were from previous building demolitions and  clean-up of the site.  The students were a part of the Youth in Philanthropy (Y.I.P) program that is underwritten and administered by a collaboration between the George Foundation and the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce.

Y.I.P. students were joined by SLHF volunteers for the Saturday project that started at 9:00 am and finished at 3:00 pm.  The SLHF volunteers who have been preserving bricks for the past four years were led by John Loper, who served as the on-site project manager for SLHF.  Loper said, "The students were energetic, very disciplined and productive.  They were fun to work with and we are very proud of them."  It is estimated that 6,000 bricks were sorted and palletized that day.

SLHF Executive Director Dennis Parmer said, "They were a great group of young adults to watch; they all took to the tasks of sorting and preserving these bricks.  This is a very physical activity - your hands and arms will definitely be aching at the end of the day!  SLHF would like to thank the students and our volunteers for their tremendous efforts in making this a successful preservation project.  We also would like to thank the George Foundation and Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce for choosing SLHF as one of the Y.I.P. projects.  SLHF appreciates HEB's  donating food to help feed all the participants, and we also want to thank Home Depot for donating work gloves for the students and volunteers to use."

 Y.I.P. Students, Advisers and SLHF Volunteers at the
November 1, 2014 Brick Preservation Project 

On November 22nd, Sugar Land Heritage Foundation held its quarterly volunteer work day.  Volunteers were a part of several successful project that day, including:

1.  The "Brick Pickers" who were busy at work in their continuing effort to preserve bricks from the various demolitions.  The good news is that we are beginning to see the end of this project.  The next step is to take a front-end loader or equivalent and turn the brick pile.  IF there are some good bricks, we will preserve them.  IF it is mostly rubble and concrete, we will end this project.

The "Brick Pickers" pause for a picture before going back to their tearing apart of wooden pallets and constructing bins for the bricks using the wood, other pallets and heavy-duty plastic fencing.

2.  A group of volunteers who brought in Christmas decorations.  For the first time, we decorated our temporary museum and offices.  A great group of high school students added a special touch by creating paper snowflakes and other decorations.  The groups also did a little cleaning to spruce up the place for the holidays.

3.  SLHF staff members and volunteers who were selling our Christmas ornaments at two locations that day.  We had volunteers at the Farmers Market from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
  We also had  volunteers at Constellation Field from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, selling our ornaments as part of the Festival of Lights.  Ornament sales have been good this year as more and more people are making these an annual part of their Christmas decorations.  SLHF will be announcing the 2015 ornament in the summer of 2015.  If you have a suggestion for the 2015 ornament, please contact us at 281-494-0261 or

This was the fourth Volunteer Work Day in 2014.  We have had close to 100 volunteers participate in one or more work days this year.  SLHF would not be the successful organization that we are today without our volunteers, who  range in age from 15 to ??  Some volunteers have lived in the Sugar Land/Fort Bend County area all their lives while others have lived here less than one year.  Some are high school students, some are actively pursuing their careers while others have retired but have definitely not gotten stuck into a rocking chair!

Regardless of age or stage of life, SLHF appreciates our volunteers - they are the life blood of our organization!  Come join us in 2015 as we continue to preserve and celebrate the rich history/heritage of this area.  To volunteer, please contact SLHF at 281-494-0261 or email Carolyn Gilligan, our Volunteer Coordinator, at    

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
Sonal Bhuchar
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Sharon Ehrenkranz
Carl Favre
Mike Goodrum
Bruce Kelly
Steve Porter
Claire Rogers
Keri Schmidt
Bill Schwer
Don Smithers
Allison Wen
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    January 10th, February 14th, and March 14th


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

Dennis's Wish List!

Fire Proof Cabinet for Archivist Area


Steel Shelving to Store Artifact Collection


Funds for Build-Out for Museum Exhibits


Folding Tables & Chairs


Presentation Screen


Transcription Machine for Oral Histories



Bettye Anhaiser
Bob Brown
Greater Fort  Bend Economic Development Council
HEB Grocery
Mike Hinkle
Home Depot in Sugar Land
Bruce Kelly
Martin Nicholas
Claire Rogers
Safari Texas
Techno Chaos
Allison Wen
John Whitmore

Carolyn Gilligan

Cherry Wong

Betty Schofield

(unfilled at this time)

Haroldetta Robertson

Marsha Smith

Roy Wiffin

Becky Parmer

(unfilled at this time)

Raymond McDonald