A Perfect Pick to… Play!
Pearland is defined by a rich heritage with its inception dating back to 1894. The city showcases a few historic sites that speak to Pearland’s legacy including the pivotal Gulf, Colorado and Sante Fe railroad depot and the Old Settler’s Cemetery. The city offers a unique treasure in the form of the Sri Meenakshi Temple – the only temple dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi off the shores of India. Built in the 1970’s, it’s the third temple built in the United States and it replicates the original in Maduri, India.
Sri Meenakshi Temple17130 Mclean Road Pearland, TX 77584 281-489-0358 emeenakshi.org
Sri Meenakshi Temple Society was established in October 1977. The property was purchased on June 20, 1978. Sri Ganesh temple was constructed and inaugurated on Ganesh Chathurthi day in August 1979. Houston families took turns and performed daily poojas. University of Houston professor of architecture, Sri Ranjit Banerjee, developed the initial master plan for the first five acre tract, which included the main temple hall and Ganesh temple. The master plan was then updated by Architect Sri Ashok Mungara, AIA, to include the over twenty-three acres that MTS has acquired over the years, which now boasts an outer prakaram for the main temple, priests quarters, kalyana mandapam, youth center, and a visitors center.
First United Methodist Church2314 N Grand Blvd Pearland, TX 77581 281-485-1466 fumcpearland.org
Methodist worship can be traced back to 1894, with the congregation was officially organized in 1898 as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Pearland. The original frame building – shared with other denominations – was damaged in the storm of 1900 and destroyed in the hurricane of 1915. A new structure was completed in 1917. A new sanctuary was built in 1947 with new additions since to accommodate the more than 2,000 member congregation.
Gulf, Colorado and Sante Fe Railroad Depot3501 Liberty Drive Pearland, TX 77581
The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad built a siding switch called “Mark Belt” near here in 1883 as part of its Houston to Alvin branch rail line. In 1893, Wilhelm von Zychlinski purchased 2,560 acres in this area which he subdivided and platted in 1894. Included in Zychlinski’s subdivisions was the 273-acre townsite of Pearland. Around 1900, the Santa Fe Railroad built a depot nearby which soon became a gathering place for settlers to meet visitors and pickup mail and supplies. Locally grown cotton, hay, cattle, fruit and vegetables were shipped to market by railroad from the depot. Pearland’s development, delayed by the devastating storms of 1900 and 1915, was sustained by the promotion of the area as an agricultural wonderland with vital railroad access. Oil production, cattle ranching, and hay, rice and fig farming kept Pearland’s growth moving forward. Over time the railroad’s importance diminished, and in 1972 depot closed. The facility was donated to the city and moved to its present site through the efforts of many citizens and organizations. Until 2008, the depot housed the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Today, the building is awaiting repairs and renovations after being damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Hunter Park3701 E. Orange Pearland, TX 77581
Robert L. Hunter, the grandson of Dr. Thomas Calhoun Hunter, married Julia Iva Martin in September 1905. The couple had four children and lived in the family home on the corner of Orange Street and Galveston Avenue. The park, originally called Orange Street City Park, was officially renamed “Robert L. and Julia Martin Hunter Park” by Pearland City Council in August 2008. The application, approval and installation process for placement of the historical marker was a seven-year process, achieved by a cooperative effort by the Hunter family and the Pearland Historical Society. The Hunter Park marker is the sixth historical marker to be placed in Pearland.
Old Settler’s CemeteryState Hwy 35, Main St. & Halik Rd Pearland, TX 77581
A community graveyard was begun with the burial of pioneer Echolean C. Ackerly, who died August 11, 1894. Four years later her burial plot and surrounding land was officially dedicated as a cemetery. Six Civil War veterans are interred in the graveyard. The cemetery contains several types of burials. The early practice of scraping the earth over graves was followed by cement paving, gravel cover, and bricking. Styles of gravestones range from simple stone markers to tombstones featuring elaborately carved decorations. Old Settler’s Cemetery remained the primary community burial ground until 1936. It continues to serve as a reminder of Pearland’s early history.
Pearland High School, The 19372319 N Grand Blvd Pearland, TX 77581
A terrible storm ravaged Pearland in 1915. Among the important structures it destroyed was the town’s high school. For the next 22 years, Pearland teenagers traveled to Webster to attend classes. The long commute severely curtailed their involvement in school and community life. Despite the difficulties of farm life and the depression years, it was important to the townspeople that they be able to educate their children in Pearland. In 1937, they approved a new school bond. Architect Henry Stubee designed the new high school building, and the Morgan Bouiffle Construction Company of Houston erected it. Fifty-eight students attended Pearland High School in the fall 1937. The first challenge they and their carefully assembled faculty tackled was that of accreditation. This was achieved in the school’s first year so that every Pearland graduate would have the option of going to college. The school was a focal point for social and recreational activities as well as academics. The structure is a typical early 20th century schoolhouse made of brick veneer, a solid material built to withstand time and weather. It survives with few alterations. Architectural features of interest include the offset central entry bay with shed dormers. A new high school was erected in 1953, and the old structure became part of the Pearland Elementary School. The schoolhouse was designated a Texas Historic Landmark in 1999 and sits in the Pearland Old Townsite.