Fort Bend County’s long and rich history of sugar production, with an emphasis on antebellum sugarhouses, will be the topic of the next Fort Bend County Historical Commission program.

Archeologist and historian Joanne Ryan is scheduled to present during the Nov. 19 meeting of the commission, which is free and open to the public.

Location is the Gus George Law Enforcement Academy, 1521 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond, Room 2 upstairs. Start time is 3 p.m.

Of special interest is the Waters-House Sugarhouse, which operated on the Arcola Plantation in eastern Fort Bend County between 1849 and 1913. Substantial parts of the structures remain.

According to Ryan, no archeological excavations have yet been conducted at this site and it is now threatened by development.

Although more than 1,500 sugarhouses were built in Texas and Louisiana before the Civil War, portions of only three antebellum sugarhouses remain substantially intact: the Arcola sugarhouse and two in Louisiana’s Rapides and Iberia parishes.

The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is a volunteers-only department of Fort Bend County government. Members are appointed by County Commissioners Court. 

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