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

| May 1, 2017

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The old Juergen Home about 1940 in rare winter snow. Photo courtesy of Cypress Top Historic Park Collection.

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 the 640 acres that would come to include Cypress Top Historic Park for $220. Apparently, Baker platted some of the land because the next transaction was in lots on blocks. Baker was one of the major investors in the Houston and Texas Central Railway and purchased the property the same year the railroad reached it. So far, we have been unable to find any written record of exactly what was built when. However, when the block was sold in 1858 to E.B. Noble and then from Noble to C.H. Menck in 1859, the prices in the $600 range for Block 7 suggest significant improvements. It would appear that the building was, in fact, a boarder’s home, if not a hotel proper.

The old house has a peculiar floor plan for a house with two doors onto the front porch. Each front door opens into a separate, adjacent room. The front room on the left is large, 13 by 24 feet. The room behind it is even grander, a 13- by 26-foot dining room. Behind the dining room is a 13- by 13-foot kitchen with a 13- by 14-foot pantry that was large enough to store barrels of flour, sacks of salt and enough food to run a restaurant.

The front room on the right is large, 13 by 24 feet. Behind it is a bathroom. Behind that, a hall runs from the dining room to a door leading to a long side porch that looks east toward the train depot. Off that hall is a single bedroom with a small closet. Upstairs is a long, open room just wide enough to hold a row of cots.

This floor plan seems strange for a house, but if you consider the front right of the house, the innkeepers’ quarters, and the balance of the building as a hotel and dining room, the configuration makes perfect sense. Consequently, it seems logical to think that the Juergen House is in fact an 1856 hotel built by William R. Baker to capitalize on the train passengers his railroad would bring.

If you would like to see this house or learn more about American, Texas or Cypress history, please visit Commissioner Steve Radack’s Cypress Top Historic Park at 26026 Hempstead Highway. The park is open daily from dawn to 7 p.m. The museum buildings are open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Arrange a special tour at cypresstop@pct3.com or 281-357-5324. The Cypress Historical Society is in the California Poppy yellow train depot replica in the back of the park. Its hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and the third Saturday of the month from noon to 3 p.m. The Society has genealogy and historical information for the greater Cypress area. Contact them at cypresshistsociety@att.net or 281-758-0083.

Historical facts courtesy of Cypress Top Historic Park Collection & Cypress Historical Society: Preserving Cypress History for Posterity.

 

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