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Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Collection - Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony for Texas’s First Sugar Refinery (1952)

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Silent | 1952

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  •  Texas Society Daughters of the American Colonists Marking Center of Sugar Mills and site of First Sugar Refinery in Texas 
  •  The society marks the site of the first sugar refinery in Texas, the origins of the Imperial Sugar Company 
  •  The historical marker up close 
  •  A photograph of the sugar factory 
  •  Imperial Sugar’s char house 
  •  Illustrations pertaining to the sugar factory 
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This 1952 home movie captures the dedication ceremony for a historical marker honoring the state’s first sugar refinery in Sugar Land. The Texas Society of Daughters of the American Colonists host the event, which includes various speeches and presentations. The footage includes shots of the Imperial Sugar Company factory as well as illustrations and old photographs of the facility’s history.
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.