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Historically Katy
Cypress Folks Have Always Stood Out

| September 1, 2017
Historically Katy </br> Cypress Folks Have Always Stood Out

One of the best sources for the history of this area during the 1835-1838 era is the journal of William Fairfax Gray, who visited Texas between January 28 and April 25, 1836. The journals of his travels were published in 1909 by his son under the title From Virginia to Texas. The book is rare […]

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Historically Katy
A Bicycle Expands a Boy’s Horizons

| August 1, 2017
Historically Katy </br> A Bicycle Expands a Boy’s Horizons

This photo is from one of the Juergen family photo albums that were donated to the Cypress Top Historic Park collection. It shows a boy of about 12 with a shiny bike which may be new. He is in front of the old Juergen Store in Cypress. The photo dates from the 1920s or early […]

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Historically Katy
Operators and Smooth Operators

| July 1, 2017
Historically Katy </br> Operators and Smooth Operators

Today, phone calls are considered personal and secure. Chances are you carry a cell phone with voice mail, and you can expect to receive all your calls, important or not. Telephones had come into general use by the early 1900s but the calls, while personal, were seldom secure. Chances were good that others might be […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – E.F. Juergen, A Man with Many Hats

| June 1, 2017
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – E.F. Juergen, A Man with Many Hats

The land, buildings and furnishings that make up Cypress Top Historic Park were once owned and operated by E.F. Juergen. He was “Mr. Cypress.” E.F. Juergen was born in 1871 and by 1895 had constructed a general merchandise store in Waller for Ed Weygand, Sr. Ever the enterpriser, he married Weygand’s daughter in December. They […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Juergen House at Cypress Top Historic Park: An 1856 Hotel

| May 1, 2017
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Juergen House at Cypress Top Historic Park: An 1856 Hotel

Like all the old buildings at the Historic Park, the Juergen House has an interesting history. Unfortunately the walls don’t talk. Helping to unravel the ongoing mysteries of its past are a family oral history and a property title policy purchased by E. F. Juergen in 1910. On Feb. 27, 1856, William R. Baker purchased […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Antiques All Have A Story

| April 1, 2017
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Antiques All Have A Story

Some may question our fascination with all the old stuff in Juergen’s Store at Cypress Top Historic Park. After all, that small display case on the end of the counter is worn and not pretty. Yet it tells a story about the store, entrepreneurship, an American business success story and ultimately, America’s story. The display […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – March 2nd — More than Texas Independence Day

| March 1, 2017
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – March 2nd — More than Texas Independence Day

Representatives from much of Texas met at Washington on the Brazos in late February 1836 and quickly drafted a Declaration of Independence. Sam Houston and the other representatives signed it on March 2, 1836. Stephen F. Austin is known as the Father of Texas because he managed to get the Spanish government — and later […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Valentine’s Day Cards

| February 1, 2017
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Valentine’s Day Cards

Th Valentines from the 1950s from the author’s collection. I still love, with a great dose of nostalgia, the cheap little kids’ greeting cards that we exchanged in elementary classes each Valentine’s Day back in the 1950s. The pack of 24 cards was more than enough to have one for every classmate. It was with […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Feelings and Images of Christmas

| December 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Feelings and Images of Christmas

The Christmas season conjures up unique feelings and images in all of us. No two people would share exactly the same concept of the season. It is shaped by family tradition and also by the barrage of images that we experienced in our formative years. In reading letters from the early 1900s, people in the […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Glass Insulators: Beauty on America’s Telegraph Poles

| November 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Glass Insulators:  Beauty on America’s  Telegraph Poles

Glass insulators used to be a common sight perched on utility pole crossties. If you are more than 60 years old, you might remember seeing the final vestiges of them as the same system was used with early telephone lines. There were so many glass insulators because each pole had so many wires requiring insulators. […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Cypress Historical Society, Preserving Cypress History

| October 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Cypress Historical Society, Preserving Cypress History

The Cypress Historical Society (CHS) was the evolution of a core group of volunteers who helped Commissioner Steve Radack prepare Cypress Top Historic Park for its opening in November 2008. This intrepid group of volunteers was led by Diane Neff and Debbie Ward. They were joined by other key people, including Helen Callender, Joyce Kleb, […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Bois d’Arc Fence Posts

| September 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Bois d’Arc Fence Posts

by Fred Collins The old invoices from the Juergen Store in Cypress Top Historic Park lead us down many curious paths that often intertwine with the landscape and the history of Cypress. One such invoice shows where E.F. Juergen shipped 1,100 Bois d’arc fence posts to one Has Andrews of McKinney, Texas. He charged Mr. […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Fascination with Feathers

| August 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Fascination with Feathers

  Birds’ feathers advertise health and fitness to potential mates. This message was not lost on humans who took to adorning themselves with feathers. The Mayan chiefs, who declared themselves gods, wore a head dress of three-foot-long Quetzal plumes. The most powerful Plains tribes of Native Americans wore war bonnets of eagle feathers which they […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Heavy Floods are Historic and Demonstrate the Value of Prairies

| June 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Heavy Floods are Historic and Demonstrate the Value of Prairies

Historic floods have dramatically altered Texas, including the Houston and Cypress areas. This past April’s rain broke all previous April records for Houston. But was it the wettest April ever? April 1836 would have been one for the record books as well, but there were no official stations to record the event. It was wet […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – A Penny for your Thoughts and Thoughts about Pennies

| May 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – A Penny for your Thoughts and Thoughts about Pennies

by Fred Collins Now a museum, the old store in Cypress Top Historic Park was in operation when the railroad was completed to that location in 1856. It is interesting to consider what pennies have been used in the store during the ensuing years. In 1856, pennies were large and worth a considerable amount. They […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Wild West was Right Here in Cypress

| April 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Wild West was Right Here  in Cypress

I grew up watching Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid. They rode their horses hard and fast across hills, desert gulches and other western scenes, chasing cattle thieves and train robbers. Houston was a big city with freeways and skyscrapers, so this area never struck me as the Wild West, but in […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Breaking the Code of Old German Letters

| March 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Breaking the Code of Old German Letters

      Within the Kleb Woods Nature Preserve historical farm collection are many letters written by Kleb family members in the early 20th century. Both the Klebs and most in-laws were of German descent, and many of the letters are written in German script. The script they wrote was not the German we know […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Valentine’s Day Cards in 1909

| February 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Valentine’s Day Cards in 1909

Valentine’s Day is the day we all celebrate romance. Most suitors lavish their sweethearts with roses and chocolate along with an appropriate card. Cards became popular in England during the 1800s, and by the early 1900s, were common in the United States as well. As every suitor knows, Valentine’s Day can get expensive, and I […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Bellisle: the First European Visitor to the Cypress Area Prairies?

| January 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Bellisle: the First European Visitor to the Cypress Area Prairies?

François Simars de Bellisle was born in France in 1695 and, in the autumn of 1719, was marooned with four companions near Galveston Bay. His companions all starved and died from exposure, yet he survived by being taken as a slave to a group of Atakapan Native Americans, who inhabited the upper reaches of Galveston […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Power of Journals

| January 1, 2016
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Power of Journals

by Fred Collins My New Year’s resolution is to be more disciplined about keeping my personal journal, which helps me organize my thoughts, observations and activities. Journals and diaries can be powerful tools and sometimes become extremely valuable. Perhaps the most valuable in America are the journals of Lewis and Clark that they authored while […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Cash Registers Brought the Sounds of Christmas Bells

| December 1, 2015
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Cash Registers Brought the Sounds of Christmas Bells

Views of the 1903 NCR cash register from the front, from behind and a close-up of the personlized name plate made for E.F. Juergen. Christmas bells mean many things to different people, but many will recall the quote from the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life: “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Snipe Hunting, a Former Way to
Earn a Living

| November 1, 2015
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – Snipe Hunting, a Former Way to </br>Earn a Living

By Fred Collins In last month’s column, I talked about the joke played on people who were told to go snipe hunting. In reality, snipe are real and provided a way to earn a living long ago. Today, supermarkets are filled with an almost infinite diversity of foods from around the world to provide variety […]

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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR
Snipe Hunting Adventures

| October 1, 2015
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR </br> Snipe Hunting Adventures

By Fred Collins Have you ever been snipe hunting? If you are like people, you are not sure if a snipe is real or fantasy. Most people that have hunted snipe likely come from generations of campers taken by a group of older kids, who gave them a bag to hold open in the dark […]

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