The Heart of Sugar Land: Imperial Sugar Factory by Freddie Yeung

8016 Highway 90A # 200
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Telephone Number: 281-491-9181

January 2004–At the crack of dawn along a long and busy stretch of highway in Sugar Land, a group of middle-aged early morning commuters from all walks of life pack in bumper to bumper in order to arrive at a job they hate or to drop their precious children off at school. The highway that they so frequently travel on is thinly separated by a strip of grass with towering streetlights placed every so often that divides the cars going to and from Houston. Traffic lights are kept at every intersection to maintain order for all those who wish to get out of the traffic jam without arousing chaos. Some sit patiently in their cars while others perform their daily routine of eating breakfast or applying make-up while waiting for the light to turn green.

As they survey the environment around them to see what is holding up the traffic, they notice a small piece of land off to the side of the road. It was utilized as a succulent plantation of sugar crops when the town of Sugar Land was practically self-reliant as its founders attempted to provide all living necessities for its workers such as housing, schools, hospitals, and businesses. Many years have passed and a rustic sugar refinery now lies there. The rectangular building stands proudly with its silos towering over everything nearby with the name Imperial Sugar largely printed on the side for everyone to clearly see. The flag of Texas and the United States stand at the forefront of the building flying brilliantly with the wind. The trees on the ground level extend up towards the windows of the third floor to provide an enormous shade for the cars in its parking lot as the rising sun peaks through the heavy clouds. The sky has transformed from total darkness of pitch black to a wide assortment of colors ranging from baby blue to a fiery red that span across the horizon.

On the other side of the street, rays of sunshine glisten on to the face of Imperial Sugar’s former employees with a hint of liveliness as they look towards the refinery with a reflection of a glowing aura. They are bonded by the common goal of broadcasting to the entire world in the wee hours of the morning the injustice of unfairly losing their jobs under their former employer. Each protester holds a neon-color poster board urging the early morning commuters to honk their horns in an effort to acquire Imperial Sugar’s attention. Their endeavor does not go unanswered because a large amount of drivers actually support their cause by honking repeatedly over the loud horn of a train passing by. As the drivers slowly ease on down the highway, they jealously looking upon the progress the train is able to achieve without any obstacles in its path. The local residents of Venetian Estates are not all too happy about being waken up by the sound of a roaring locomotive and the foundation of their classical water front homes rattled and shaken. The neighborhood suits its name quite well for resembling the beautiful city of Venice by taking advantage of its proximity to the water from Oyster Creek.

It leads down to the nearby park where it is surrounded by lively, organic greens on all sides that radiant a crisp scent of refreshment. The beautiful wildlife and scenery provide for excellent family outings and relaxation with all sorts of animals running around the plants and trees. Visitors come from all over for a chance at this little piece of paradise in an effort to get away from it all to hear the crickets chirp and songbirds sing. The park begins on a paved nature trail, but with cracks in the concrete here and there that lead the park visitors along the lake and through the thickets of trees. The lake has a glassy surface with a few ripples from the fish lurking below the water, while the tallest trees form a canopy with its large, broad leaves cover the vividly colorful shrubs down below. The autumn leaves turn into brilliant colors and fall to the ground as people pass by crushing the leaves beneath their shoes. Mosses are growing all over the ground and on the trees itself, forming a green blanket across the park visible from miles above the earth. Large oak trees with moss suspended from its limbs tower over campsites and picnicking areas to provide shade against the sun as it heads west toward the horizon causing a deep, fury red hue to spread across the sky in a matter of minutes. It slowly turns dark afterwards and stars appear from out of sight and into plain view. Their numbers increase as darkness falls and the night takes over. They take turns twinkling in a synchronized harmonic rhythm with one another with their brightness and intensity countlessly magnified to a degree that will never be found in the city light.

The commuters who pass by day in and day out do not realize how profound the Imperial Sugar Factoryhas become apart of Sugar Land’s essence. They view it as another old building that requires remodeling, but in fact, the Imperial Sugar Factory possesses a strong heritage that has spurred deep feelings of nostalgia in the community when it decided to halt its production. Tomorrow will just be another day gone to waste for those who do not appreciate the magnitude of such a landmark since everything near and far within the city revolves around it. The Venetian Estates with its park, the roads around it, and Oyster Creek would not have ever been built if not for the factory that started it all. It is the sole reason why we have Sugar Land because the factory is the heart of the city in which it grew up around.

Categorizations- Sugar Land, landmarks, community, nature, sugar, factory, park, protesting, products, Venetian Estates

Links

Official Imperial Sugar Company Website

Official Sugar Land Website

Yahoo Directory for Sugar Land

Mapquest Maps

Maps



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