(Above photo: The center of Cypress, Tx, located off Hempstead Rd. between Spring Cypress & Fry Rd., March 2005)
Cypress is one of most interesting of Harris County's perimeter towns, because it developed from a small railroad stop, as with many other towns like Barker and Clodine, but ended up becoming one of the most popular suburban settlements in West Houston during the early 21st century.
Though Cypress encompasses a large spread of land, it originates at the intersection of old Hempstead Highway and Spring Cypress Rd. The earliest known settlers of the Cypress area were the Atakapan Indian tribes, but they began to disappear shortly after the appearance of German settlers in the 1840's. Their immune systems were likely not prepared to handle the diseases introduced to the land by the flood of foreign immigrants, and they simply could not survive. Some of the earliest German settlers in the area brought the names Hoffmeister and Telge, which are now major roads in the Cypress area.
INTERESTING FACT: It is recorded that General Sam Houston and his army camped in the Cypress area during March of 1836 on their way to Harrisburg, only days before the battle of San Jacinto. -The Handbook of Texas Online
The center of Cypress, known as Cypress Top, was merely a post office in the early 1850's, but soon became a major railroad stop on the way to Houston when the Houston and Texas Central Railroad extended its tracks to Cypress Top. The town featured many of the typical structures consistent with late 1800's towns. Two hotels, a livery stable, a grist mill, and a general store. In 1897, E.F. Juergen settled in Cypress, and became the postmaster of Cypress the following year. In 1905, he married Mary Zahn, and the couple remained in Cypress for the rest of their lives. They owned a home, the general store, the Juergen Dance Hall, and also operated the post office until 1930.
The Humble Service Station, which appears to have been built during the 1950's, based on the architectural styling, was operated by E.F. Juergen's son Clarence until his death in 1984. Clarence's nephew, Gene Zaboroski took over the service station, which operated until 2002.
THE DECLINE OF CYPRESS TOP
Though the area surrounding downtown Cypress had begun to develop residential communities during the late 1970's and early 80's, the center of town had begun to show its age. The main lanes of the US 290 freeway had not reached Cypress yet, and travelers heading between Houston, Waller, and Austin still had to pass through historic downtown Cypress. By 1997, the new main lanes of the freeway had come, but they bypassed Cypress several blocks to the north, leaving Cypress Top to become a virtual ghost town. The Juergen Dance Hall was still operating (in it's original location about a hundred yards back), but the other structures had fallen into disrepair.
In 2002, the new upscale Black Horse Ranch community had begun to build on the land immediately south of the railroad tracks at Cypress Top, and the area now had an opportunity to revitalize itself as a historic district. The community was built on land previously owned by L.M. Josey, Inc., bordered by House & Hahl Road.
In 2005, Cypress Top was donated to Precinct 3 by the Zaboroski family, and eventually became Cypress Top Historic Park. The Dance Hall was relocated to the forefront of Hempstead Highway/Business 290, and the buildings were gradually restored to their current status.
BLACK HORSE RANCH RICE DRIER
When Black Horse Ranch began building homes along House & Hahl Rd., this early 20th century rice drying structure was among the original establishments present on the land. Though no longer functional, it was determined that it would make a rustic and welcoming entrance sign for the new community. However, in 2008, the decision was made to tear it down, much to the disappointment of the residents and local historians. In 2009, the structure was razed, leaving behind only a small concrete foundation.