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MEMORIES OF NEAL’S STORE IN CYPRESS

| May 1, 2012
MEMORIES OF NEAL’S STORE IN CYPRESS

By Jane Ledbetter My good friend, Beverly (Smith) Schawe, and I enjoy sharing memories of “the way Cypress was” when we were growing up. The memories written here are some of Bev’s recollections dating from around 1940. Bev’s mother worked in Neal’s Store in Cypress for several years. Bev was often with her mother in […]

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Here a Chick, There a Chick…

| April 1, 2012
Here a Chick, There a Chick…

By Jane Ledbetter The lives of Cypress settlers in the mid-to-late 1800s and early 1900s could be greatly enhanced by having a good-sized flock of chickens on the farm. Fried or scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage or ham was a real treat for breakfast; certainly a platter of fried chicken or chicken and dumplings would […]

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FOLK DANCING: A TRUE TEXAS ART FORM

| March 1, 2012
FOLK DANCING: A TRUE TEXAS ART FORM

By Jane Ledbetter In Texas in the middle to late 1800s, building churches and dance halls were often the first steps in settling the wide open frontiers. The Cypress Gun & Rifle Club (known more familiarly as Tin Hall) is an example of one of those early dance halls. Originally built in 1878, it was […]

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“ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE”

| February 1, 2012
“ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE”

By Jane Ledbetter Collecting autographs and small bits of verse, personal messages, and poems from one’s friends and classmates was popular as far back as the early 15th century in the Dutch and Germanic cultures. The collection books, known as autograph books, were sometimes very ornate; others simply contained loose sheets of paper bound together […]

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“CYPRESS GETS NEW PHONES”

| January 1, 2012
“CYPRESS GETS NEW PHONES”

By Jane Ledbetter This headline above, as seen in the December 27, 1953 edition of the Houston Chronicle newspaper, heralded the advent of a brand-new era in the field of communications for Cypress residents:  approximately 130 homes and businesses were about to get dial telephones. Up until this time, the few Cypress residents who had […]

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The Fifth Season Of The Year

| December 1, 2011
The Fifth Season Of The Year

By Jane Ledbetter It has always been said that there are four seasons in a year:  spring, summer, fall and winter. But for the cooks of yesteryear as well as today , there is another very important season: the Christmas baking season. One of the most recognizable flavors and scents emanating from the kitchen during […]

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Needlework and Early Cypress Women

| November 1, 2011
Needlework and Early Cypress Women

By Jane Ledbetter It seems that women, from even the earliest times, are born with creative instincts and love of beautiful things. No matter how meager or drab their immediate surroundings may be, women will find ways to create something pretty in them. It may be a few flowers growing outside the door, or perhaps […]

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You Shopped For What at the Feed Store?

| October 1, 2011
You Shopped For What at the Feed Store?

By Jane Ledbetter The virtues of thrift and ingenuity practiced by many Americans throughout their lives were greatly enhanced by the experiences of World War II. People quickly realized that it wasn’t how much they had that counted, but how well they used what they had. Through the rationing system and other deprivations endured to […]

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Wash Days in Cypress a Long Time Ago, Part 2

| September 1, 2011
Wash Days in Cypress a Long Time Ago, Part 2

By Jane Ledbetter Every batch of wash went through basically the same washing procedure:  soaking, boiling in the wash pot or washing in very hot water in the washing machine, rinsing and wringing as dry as possible. (Length of time in the hot water varied, depending on how dirty the particular batch of laundry was; […]

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Wash Days in Cypress a Long Time Ago, Part 1

| August 1, 2011
Wash Days in Cypress a Long Time Ago, Part 1

By Jane Ledbetter It used to be, a long time ago, that “family washday” rolled around once a week. Doing the laundry was labor-intensive and took most of a day to get everything done. In fact, in some households a great deal of the preparation for washday, such as carrying buckets of water to the […]

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Working On the Railroad

| July 1, 2011
Working On the Railroad

Settling America was back-breaking work. It took strong, determined men and women to physically deal with the challenges of everyday life on the frontier. Perhaps one of the most back-breaking jobs of all was building and maintaining the railroads. Prior to the actual laying of track, roadbeds had to be graded and properly aligned. Most […]

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Cypress and the Civil War, 1861-1865

| June 1, 2011
Cypress and the Civil War, 1861-1865

by Jane Ledbetter This year is the sesquicentennial of the Civil War or “The War Between the States” as it is often called. The war began 150 years ago (April 12-13, 1861) with the bombardment of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina. The major causes of this war concerned attitudes between Northern States and Southern […]

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Where did the Country Charm of Old-Time Cypress go?

| May 1, 2011
Where did the Country Charm of Old-Time Cypress go?

Given its large geographical size, Texas has always been home to a lot of small towns, each with its own unique character and personality.  That personality was largely formed by the businesses and shops located there, and by the people who ran them. Such was certainly the case with our own little town of Cypress. […]

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Bison: An Icon in the Annals of American History

| April 1, 2011
Bison: An Icon in the Annals  of American History

Long before immigrants from other lands began settling in our area of the United States, massive herds of  bison roamed grasslands here. Bison? Yes, those in the know about such things say the animals we commonly call “buffalo” are really “bison” (technically Bison bison). However, Americans have used the names “bison” and “buffalo” interchangeably since […]

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A Change of Scenery

| March 1, 2011
A Change of Scenery

Someone looking south out the front windows of Juergen’s Store in Cypress Top Historic Park today would be treated to a view of many, many apartment buildings instead of the grasslands and farming enterprises that existed there from the late 1800s through most of the 1900s. Some of us living in Cypress today remember well […]

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A cure for the winter-time blues

| February 1, 2011
A cure for the winter-time blues

After all the hustle and bustle of preparing for the Christmas and New Year holidays, followed by the excitement of seeing family and friends, suddenly one finds that it’s all over. Sometimes that’s when a bit of depression commonly known as “a case of the blues” sets in. This is often made worse by the […]

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Happy New Year: Traditions

| January 1, 2011
Happy New Year: Traditions

The above greeting will ring out many times in the next few days as 2011 gets under way. Celebrating  the beginning of a new year is an old, old custom, having begun in ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago. The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for 11 days; each day had its own mode of […]

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Born of Necessity

| November 1, 2010
Born of Necessity

Early settlers in Cypress and elsewhere learned very quickly as they worked their farms the truth of the old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  They needed faster, less work-intensive ways of dealing with the bountiful crops they often grew. Consider a really good corn crop. Fresh corn on the cob was wonderful for […]

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Building Anew in a New Land

| October 1, 2010
Building Anew in a New Land

German immigrants to America came for a number of different reasons — political and religious oppression, high taxes, and a shrinking economy, to name just a few. Farmers in many areas of  Germany followed the time-honored tradition of dividing  their farms equally among all the sons in a family.  Consequently, as families grew, each son’s […]

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The Long Hot Days of Summer

| September 1, 2010
The Long Hot Days of Summer

High temperatures and high humidity make summers in this part of the country very uncomfortable. Sometimes we wonder how our ancestors ever survived here. After screens for windows and doors were developed in the mid-19th century, at least people were able to keep windows and doors open without fear of flies and mosquitoes getting in […]

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