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HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR – The Power of Journals

| January 1, 2016

One of the journals from Juergen’s Store from 1905.

One of the journals from Juergen’s Store from 1905.

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 with the Corps of Discovery during the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase between May 1804 and September 1806. The journal described the geography, people, plants and animals they encountered. Many of these were unknown before the explorers described them. The
journals informed President Jefferson and the world of the riches and wonders of the land Jefferson had purchased from France. The description of their daily lives and adventures during the expedition has inspired thousands of naturalists, geographers and explorers through the centuries.

Even business financial journals can be powerful. The notorious Al Capone was convicted and imprisoned because of his business journals, even though he was never convicted of most of his murderous and dastardly deeds. Within the collection of the Cypress Top Historic Park are many business journals from Juergen’s Store ranging in date from 1897-1909. E.F. Juergen made them to operate his mercantile business. However, they convey so much more historical data, giving us an identity of the Cypress community, since most people charged items at the store or saloon, and a clear picture of daily life with purchases of buggy whips, bullets, butter and beer.

Journals and diaries have been a time-honored way to remember the past and pass on something of ourselves to children and grandchildren. Such diaries and journals have inspired many movies, such as Dances with Wolves, The Notebook and Cruel Intentions.

Perhaps you would like to join me in my New Year’s resolution?

If you would like to see E.F. Juergen’s business journals or learn more about American, Texas or Cypress history, visit Commissioner Steve Radack’s Cypress Top Historic Park at 26026 Hempstead Highway, open daily from dawn to 7 p.m. The museum buildings are open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. To arrange a special tour, contact the park at 281-357-5324 or cypresstop@pct3.com. The park is home to the Cypress Historical Society, housed in the yellow train depot in the back of the park and open 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 information and historical information for the greater Cypress area. Contact them
at cypresshistsociety@att.net or 281-758-0083. If you have questions or comments about this article, contact Fred Collins at fcndc@juno.com.

 

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