Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cypress Once Had a Rodeo and a Hot Artesian Well

Greeting LIFErs! This week we were joined by Jane Ledbetter and Karen McGilvery from the Cypress Historical Society to give us the history of the Cypress area and a virtual walk-through of Cypress Top Historical Park.

We believe Cypress got its name from the numerous Cypress tress that lined the banks of the bayous at the time, although none remain today. Cypress looked very different in the 1700-1800s: there were few trees as the area was mostly prairie. Cypress remained mostly unincorporated farmland until mid 1840s when the first stage coach lines and Post Office developed. When Texas became the 28th state in 1845, Cypress began to grow due to a large influx of mostly German immigrants, who gave their family names to streets which still exist today.

In 1856 a railroad was built from Houston to Cypress, and the first locomotive was affectionately named "Ebenezer". But the area never really grew, as yellow fever, diphtheria, and other illnesses took a toll on the population until 1897 when Ed Juergen helped develop the community. He built the "Tin Hall" (a dance hall and gun & rifle club) and also the Juergen store, both of which survive today. In 1910, while drilling for oil they instead discovered hot water, and town had 2 hot pools and 1 cold pool which attracted folks from all over the Houston area. The Cypress rodeo began in 1944, mostly for goat roping, but it grew into a full-fledged rodeo quickly.

Please look through the slide show below to learn more about our town's history, and check out the Cypress Historical Society and Cypress Top Historical Park when you have the chance. It is also time to register for the next year of the Academy of Lifelong Learning. See the links below.

Cypress Historical Society:
Cypress Top Historical Park:
Academy of Lifelong Learning:

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