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Cypress Top Historic Park in Texas: A Step Back in Time

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Old-time barber chair at Cypress Top Historic Park

Old-time barber chair at Cypress Top Historic Park

Cypress Top Historic Park

There is a small urban park in Cypress known as Cypress Top Historic Park. It is located right off of busy Hempstead Road, and the even busier Highway 290 is a stone's throw away. My husband and I passed this little park—a mere 2.4 acres—many times without realizing its significance.

Were it not for the generosity of the grandson of the original owners, this historical park would not exist. Gene Zaboroski and his wife Delphine donated this land, buildings, and contents to Harris County in the year 2005. They could easily have made a large sum of money by selling it, as this is prime real estate property. Instead, they wished for people to know what life was like back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Original Owners of the Property

Gene's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Juergen, had their home on this property. There was an addition to the house, and some of the rooms were occasionally rented out.

The furnishings all relate to earlier times, including the wallpaper on the walls. Visitors can see an old wooden ironing board standing next to a vintage Singer treadle sewing machine. One gets to view iron bedsteads to hand-carved wooden ones, an old typewriter, a wall unit vintage telephone, a chamber pot to children's toys, and much more inside of this large home.

Volunteer docents can tell visitors what is original to the house and what is not. Some of the items have been donated by others in the community. Still, they originate from the same period.

Juergen Hall

The Juergen family also owned Juergen Hall, which was a popular dance hall and gathering place. Today it is used as a community center, and people were playing cards on the day of our visit. Juergen Hall also functions as a Precinct 3 voting location.

Juergen General Merchandise Store

The Juergen General Merchandise Store was left intact with all the items still on the shelves that were for sale at the time of its ceasing operation. Viewing those items on the shelves reminded me of some of the merchandise I had seen my parents and grandparents using decades ago. My grandfather used to have a similar spray can as shown below, to use in his garden to ward off insect problems.

Everything a person would need or wish to have could be purchased in those old-time general stores. Most women sewed much of the clothing for their families back then. So were not only bolts of cloth available but also sewing patterns, various colored threads on wooden spools and sundry items like needles, hooks and eyes, buttons, and more.

Juergen General Merchandise Store was in business for a long time dating back to 1898. Items sold there ranged from really old-time things such as the type of crocks in which my grandparents used to make sauerkraut to more modern-day items like Right Guard deodorant and Scope mouthwash.

Merchandise was sold that predated electricity to those used after electric service became common. So cast iron skillets and kettles which could have been used over an open fire or wood-fired stoves to electric frying pans and electric clocks, both are on shelves within the general merchandise store.

Tools of every type of description were sold. The volunteer docents can describe the uses of various items from the past.

Barber Shop

Leon's Barber Shop was one of the buildings that were still in operation after the year 2000. It has since ceased operation and is now a part of the Cypress Top Historic Park.

Humble Service Station

There is an old Humble Service Station on the property. Inside the building, there is still an odor of oil and other products used when the service station was operational.

Precinct 3 Park

After the land had been donated, many volunteer hours went into getting this Precinct 3 Park up and operational. There are still some things to be evaluated and sorted in one of the buildings on the property. A Grist Mill, as well as an old tool shed, is located here. There is some vintage farming equipment displayed on the grounds.

A covered pavilion with picnic tables is available on the grounds, including a large barbecue grill. Reservations can be made in advance to reserve this space by contacting the Cypress Top Historic Park at 281-357-5324. Restrooms are also on site.

Rental Property

The enterprising Juergens also offered a one-room building for rent on this site. This small 13 1/2 by 15-foot structure had served a variety of purposes through the years. Probably the most famous person residing there for a time was a vaudevillian actor known as "Blondie Kerr."

Blondie Kerr's real name was Heinrich Frederick Kreuger. He was born on November 19th, 1873. After he died in 1960, Mr. Kreuger was buried in the Fritsche - Neudorf Cemetery, located in Cypress, Texas.

Some 768 items belonging to this retired actor remain in the steam trunk at the foot of the bed inside this apartment. Pictures of him, as well as other artifacts, can be viewed inside of this small abode.

Cypress Historical Society

Located in a bright yellow train station building at the back of Cypress Top Historic Park is the Cypress Historical Society. It was founded and set up as a non-profit organization back in 2008.

Their mission statement is the following:

"Our mission is to discover, educate, promote, collect, preserve and make available to the public, historical documents and artifacts of the Cypress area."

For genealogy information related to the Cypress, Texas area, the Darline Roth Research Library is also in this same building.

In addition to the map below showing Texas and Louisiana Southern Pacific Rail Lines of the time, there is a map showing locations of Cypress Area Dairies of which there were many.

Scrapbooks and school annuals dating back many years are on display. Glassed cases hold many relics of the past, including early childhood books like Dick & Jane. I certainly remember reading them when I was a youngster.

A person can learn many things about the Cypress Area by visiting this urban park. Did you know that Sam Houston and his army camped here before their historic battle at San Jacinto? It is true!

The Texas Historical Marker regarding Cypress came into being due to the efforts of the Cypress Historical Society. Reading it informs people about the Native Americans who lived there. Names of the early European settlers, town names, the influence of the railroads on the development of this area and more can be learned.

Location and Hours of Operation

Cypress Top Historic Park is open daily from 7 in the morning until dusk. Many photographers like taking pictures in this historic location. But to truly enjoy all there is to see and learn, make sure to visit this park on Tuesdays between the hours of 9 AM to 4 PM when the museum buildings are open. Volunteers can take you through the structures and describe the life and times of people who used to live and do business there.

The Cypress Historical Society building is open the same hours every Tuesday plus every 3rd Saturday from 11 AM to 2 PM. Appointments can be set up in advance. The address is 26026 Hempstead Rd., Cypress, Texas 77429.

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 03, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

I got a kick out of reading that wanted ad also. It was a joke, but a fun one. Visiting Cypress Top Park is taking a step back in time. It is fabulous that all of this is preserved as it once was for everyone to be able to see. Thanks for the shares, and stay safe!

C E Clark from North Texas on September 03, 2020:

Sounds like a fun place to visit, and as usual, your photos are fantastic.

I found the little help wanted poster quite entertaining also. Not sure how likely he (or was it a she?) is to find that 'good woman,' as most modern women are no more interested in a man who can't take of himself and who doesn't have his own boat and trailer as there were back when he was advertising.

Personally, I'm at a point where I wouldn't mind having a good nurse and maid myself . . . :)

Excellent article as always, and I've posted it on FB & AH.

Stay safe!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 18, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

I also found that sign so funny, which is why I took a photo of it. So glad you liked this!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2020:

Hi Liz,

That was indeed a very generous donation to the community at large.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2020:

Hi Bill,

It is wonderful that the land and these furnished buildings were donated so that we can get a glimpse of what life was like back in earlier times. Philanthropy is alive and well in these parts!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 17, 2020:

This is a wonderful place to visit. I love historic buildings and the furnishings are perfect. It is really a look back in time.

I was enjoying looking at all of your pictures and when I found the help wanted one I laughed out loud. I think wanted to hire a woman with a boat that can dig for worms, etc. is just hysterical. I really enjoyed this article Peggy.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 17, 2020:

The donation of this park and buildings with contents was incredibly generous. Your article with its great photos gives those of us who might not get there in person the opportunity to visit.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 17, 2020:

Donated it? I doubt I would have that amount of civic spirit. What beautiful architecture. This is truly a gem!