SLHF                                                July 2015

Trivia is back.  Test your knowledge.                                   

Dennis Parmer ED photo




In my May 2015 Executive Director Article, I wrote about SLHF's quest to create a fundraising event(s) that is unique, fun, and true to our mission. I also wrote that a number of well-established nonprofits in Ft. Bend County do an excellent job in fundraising with their signature events / galas, so SLHF would need to meet that challenge. Please see the May / June 2015 newsletter for the entire article.


On May 17, SLHF held the Discover Sugar Land Scavenger Hunt. Pictures and the press release from the event are in this newsletter. I wish I had space to show the various teams at work solving the 28 scavenger hunt clues. We had 15 teams traversing Sugar Land in search of answers. Each team was required to take a picture of the answer to the respective clue. Many of the clues required at least one or all of the team members to be in the picture. The picture then had to be sent to SLHF to verify the answer. As you would guess, there were hundreds of pictures sent that afternoon. 


To add a little more complexity to the hunt, each clue had a point value associated with it. The easier the clue, the fewer points given for solving it. All the answers to the clues were located in the incorporated city limits of Sugar Land or the extra territorial jurisdiction of Sugar Land. The team with the most points would be crowned the winner. Teams were given the rules for the hunt but allowed a lot of flexibility in how they wanted to approach solving the clues. 


The feedback we got was phenomenal. Teams said: they had a lot of fun; learned a tremendous amount about Sugar Land; thought it was a great family activity; thought it was a very good team building exercise; and are looking forward to participating next year. The winning team, The Union Pacific Express, said, "They would be back to defend their title in 2016." (Editor's note: the attitude of UP Express team was more along the lines of "Come and Take It!")


From all indicators, the scavenger hunt was a very great success. SLHF is already working on the 2016 version.  Please save the date of April 17, 2016, and look for more details to come. 


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







The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation launched its first DISCOVER SUGAR LAND SCAVENGER HISTORY HUNT on Sunday, May 17, with a splash.


Fifteen competitive teams took off to discover and locate historical landmark sites in Sugar Land. Despite the morning downpour, the teams enthusiastically embarked on their quest and texted in their answers and locations to earn points throughout the afternoon. The event concluded with a sunny evening as the participants returned to the Fort Bend Toyota facility for a sumptuous buffet and libations generously donated and sponsored by Safari Texas and Allison Wen.


The event was hosted at the Fort Bend Toyota dealership, one of the homes of the Title Sponsor, Sterling McCall Auto Group. Team sponsors and participants included Johnson Development, LJA Engineering, Union Pacific, Linbeck, St Luke's CHI Hospital, and Houston Sugar Land Methodist Hospital, as well as many other Friends of the Foundation.


The winning team, sponsored by Union Pacific, was comprised of former Sugar Land Mayor Bill Little, Barbara Beavers, Chuck Kelly and Raquel Espinoza. Coming in second place was the team of Judge Justin Joyce, Mary Joyce and Cynthia Bartholomew. A team created in honor of the Carl and Mary Foundation came in third with Councilwoman Amy Mitchell, Councilman Harish Jajoo, Sue Sanchez and David Lanagan.


The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation's mission is to preserve the history of Sugar Land and create its future home as a Heritage Museum in an old Imperial Sugar building. The next Sugar Land Heritage Foundation event is a Prohibition Party, which promises to be a speakeasy celebration of cocktails and fine fare on October 1, 2015. For more information, please visit the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation website at or contact Dennis Parmer, Executive Director, at 281-494-0261 or



PHOTO (Photo credit: Beth Wolf)



SLHF Discover Sugar Land Scavenger Hunt Winners, from Left to Right:

3rd Place, Team Favre, Sponsored by Carl / Mary Favre, Pictured are Sue Sanchez, Amy Mitchell, Harish Jajoo, not pictured David Lanagan.

2nd Place, Dream Team, Sponsored by Mary / Justin Joyce, Pictured are Mary Joyce, Justin Joyce, Cynthia Bartholomew, not pictured Don Smithers.

1st Place, The Union Pacific Express, Sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad, Pictured are Raquel Espinoza, Bill Little, Barbara Batten, Chuck Kelly.



Marvin Marcell, Group 1 Automotive, Title Sponsor for the Discover Sugar Land Scavenger Hunt visits with Sugar Land First Lady Gay Thompson and Susie Goff from the Johnson Development Scavenger Hunt Team.    

Marvin Marcell, Group 1 Automotive, Title Sponsor for the Discover Sugar Land Scavenger Hunt visits with Sugar Land First Lady Gay Thompson and Susie Goff from the Johnson Development Scavenger Hunt Team.




Sonal Bhuchar, SLHF Board and Scavenger Hunt Committee Member, Allison Wen SLHF Board Member and owner of Safari Texas, Keri Schmidt SLHF Board and Scavenger Hunt Committee Member 




LJA Engineering Scavenger Hunt team members Jason Kelly, Bill Ehler, and Anthony Francis take a "selfie picture" as an answer to one of the scavenger hunt question.







Dylan Arnold has found the crown for the Imperial Kingdom team in this scavenger hunt picture.  Along with King Dylan is his mom, Lauren.  Helping to hold the crown is his dad, Damian.  His sister Audrey is taking the picture. 







Mike Doan and Marsha Smith, part of the Garden Gnomes Scavenger Hunt team, have their picture taken with the Stephen F. Austin statue in Sugar Land Town Square. Taking the picture is Garden Gnomes team member Tricia Bradbury. 




JULY 11      

Enjoy the summer weather and learn the history of the "Old 300," Imperial Sugar, and the city of Sugar Land.  

Take a two hour stroll around the Imperial Sugar facility, up to the "Hill" and visit Lake View Auditorium.  Hear about the early settlements under Stephen Austin and learn how the sugar mill and then the refinery came to be.  Hear about the families who were responsible for making Sugar Land the great city it is today and learn some little known tidbits and some titillating trivia.  

Tours starts at the Sugar Land Heritage Museum at 10 each second Saturday.  Cost is $10. 


   A large sculpture doesn't just happen, it has to be planned and then executed with precision.  I think Bob Pack would agree. 


   In the seventh Chautauqua talk Bob Pack, a Sugar Land artist and creator of many bronze sculptures in the Fort Bend area, gave the audience a glimpse of how his sculptures were conceived, but more specifically,he explained how they were made. Using slides, he displayed how the Stephen F. Austin sculpture came to fulfillment. Standing 18 feet tall and consisting of 4500 lbs. of bronze and an additional 700-800 lbs. of stainless steel supports, the development of this sculpture was no small task.


  In 1823 when Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas, brought the original 300 American families to Texas many settled in Fort Bend County and some were located in what is now Sugar Land.  A characteristic of these land grants was each bordered the Brazos River.  How fitting then the City of Sugar Land and Planned Community Developers, LTD would commission a bronze sculpture of Stephen F. Austin crossing the Brazos River for the focal point of Sugar Land Town Square.  


   In early 2002 Bob Pack began work on the Austin sculpture which shows Austin riding a horse while struggling to pull a pack horse through deep water.  Bob explained he wanted to display the perils the early settlers must have endured.


Good art will arouse feeling but it also must meet client expectations.  As Bob explained in the initial stages of this artistic endeavor, there were conceptual sketches followed by client reviews.  When the sketches were approved a maquette or small preliminary model was crafted.  Only upon approval of the maquette could work on the full scale structure begin.  

   A CAD/CAM machine was used to scale-up the model to a full size foam form.  After weeks of clean-up and further preparation, the full size model was cut into 17 pieces to create ceramic molds small enough to permit the pour of molten bronze.  The statue was assembled, sand blasted and a patina or finish applied.  Upon completion it was loaded onto an 18-wheeler departing Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Sugar Land.  

   The monument of Stephen F. Austin crossing the Bazos River became a reality in a setting of water jets and moss rocks.  This monument was dedicated on November 13, 2003.


   Bob also discussed his other sculptures in our area: "The Guardian" statue in front of the Sugar Land Police & Municipal Court building, the "Hilmar Moore" statue on Morton St. in Richmond, TX, "Christ, the Good Shepherd" statue at Sugar Land First United Methodist Church  and many settings of mallard ducks and deer in the Riverstone subdivision.  He has also created many bronze sculptures of golf legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.


  At the end of his presentation there was a question and answer period when Bob was asked why he used bronze for his sculptures instead of some other material.  Bob replied, "Permanency, because bronze will last outdoors for hundreds of years if it is well maintained."

   When Michelangelo was asked how he created his sculpture, he replied that the sculpture resides in the block of marble and all that one has to do is take away all the pieces that surround the sculpture.  Ah, but it is more than that.  Michelangelo also had to select the marble and was responsible for getting it transported to Florence, Italy.


   Somethings never change. We all know art has the ability to touch our emotions, and we can only imagine the skill an artist must have, but as Bob so completely explained, it involves more.  In short the artist has to be a craftsman, a salesman,  and a project manager.  


   It took many workers to make the Stephen F. Austin monument, and it was under the direction of Bob Pack that the work progressed.  After the presentation I asked Bob what he was working on now. He replied, "I have several projects that I am working on pertaining to private commissions."  I believe it is no mistake that Bob refers to his sculptures as projects. It took a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of finesse to make this "project" come together.   And, yes, I think it took a lot of love too!


Review by Cliff  Wagner


Heritage Trivia 

The first person to email the answers to the following questions will receive a $25 credit to the SLHF store. 

1.  Of what national civic/business organization was I.H. Kempner a founding member and on the first board of directors?  

2.  What was the name of the monthly journal published by Sugarland Industries?

3.  At various times Sugarland Industries had land holdings in other counties besides Fort Bend.  Name 3.

Answers should be sent to:

The authority for all answers is Sugar Land, Texas and the Imperial Sugar Company by R. M. Armstrong. 


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

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Dennis Parmer
Executive Director

Chris Bohannan
Lead Archivist

Chuck Kelly
Assistant Archivist
Board of Directors

W. Martin Nicholas
Vice President
Bettye Anhaiser
Sonal Bhuchar

Bob Brown
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Sharon Ehrenkranz
Mike Goodrum
Bruce Kelly
Regina Morales
Steve Porter
Claire Rogers
Keri Schmidt
Bill Schwer
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 walks are   

July 11
August 8
September 12


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
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



Mr. & Mrs. Bob Brown
Shay Shafie
Houston Methodist Sugar       Land Hospital
Allen, Boone, Humphries,       Robinson LLP
Union Pacific Railroad
CHI St. Luke's Hospital
Bettye Anhaiser
Sonal Bhuchar
Fort Bend Chamber of 
Roy Cordes
Sharon & Doug
Mary Favre
LJA Engineering
Johnson Development
Jane Goodsill
Sterling McCall
Justin & Mary Joyce
Marty & Pat Nicholas
Republic Services
Rice & Gardner
Claire Rogers
Debbie & William Schwer
Tim Stubenrouch
Sharon & Doug Whitmore


Carolyn Gilligan

Cherry Wong

Hal Jay

Haroldetta Robertson

Roy Wiffin

Raymond McDonald



Paula Jay/Linda Maus

Rex Maus