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Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Collection - Snowfall and Sugar Cane Harvest (1949)

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Silent | 1949

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  •  Snowball fight in the front yard 
  •  Downtown Sugar Land covered in snow 
  •  The old campus of Sugar Land Independent School District no. 17. Today, only the auditorium stands as the last remnant of the original company town. Up until the town became a general law city in 1959, the campus acted as a cultural center in the area. 
  •  A man and his dog play outside 
  •  Sugar cane harvest in Louisiana for Imperial Sugar 
  •  St. Mary Sugar Co-Op in Jeanerette, LA 
  •  At Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile Alabama 
  •  A dog plays with a bone 
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This 1949 home movie captures three primary scenes. The first shows a snow-covered Sugar Land. In January 1949, the Houston area received 2.6 inches of snow. The second clip documents the St. Mary Sugar Co-Op in Jeanerette, Louisiana. The facility operated as a sugar refinery for the Imperial Sugar Company. The final segment features the Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama.
The city of Sugar Land now occupies the site that was once the Oakland Plantation. It was there that in 1843 Samuel May Williams installed a commercial sugar-grinding mill on his land, leading to a rapid shift from cotton to sugar cane as the area's dominant crop. In 1905, the area's sugar plantations were acquired by the Kempner family, who dubbed their company the Imperial Sugar Company. Though sugar has not been refined at the original plant since 2003, the company's headquarters remains in Sugar Land, making it the oldest extant business in Texas.