Sugar Land History

Like most of Texas, Sugar Land’s early influences were Native Americans, the Spanish, the Mexican government and Mexican immigrants, and American pioneers. In 1823, Stephen F. Austin was given a charter to settle 300 American families in Texas. The land granted in Fort Bend County was very fertile and set the stage for Sugar Land’s rich agricultural heritage.

Sugar Land found its strength in sugar cane production. As these settlers began farming and creating plantations, sugar became the primary industry. In 1908, a sugar cane refinery built in 1896 was purchased and renamed Imperial Sugar. It was the Imperial Sugar Company that developed the town, modernizing the refinery and building houses for the employees and their families.

The growing of sugar cane ended in 1928. The economic foothold it gave the city has helped increase the population from less than 2,000 back then to today's 85,012 residents.

Since its incorporation as a city in 1959, Sugar Land’s residents live in a master-planned community with many parks and recreational facilities, first-class shopping and medical facilities, and a safe environment, ranking as one of America’s safest cities since 2008. Sugar Land has been recognized as one of America’s Best Places to Live and has been named a Community of Respect by the Anti-Defamation League.

For more information on Sugar Land's history, please visit the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. Visitors can also visit the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation's temporary museum until the permanent museum is completed every Saturday from 9 AM - 1 PM. Admission is free. Visitors can read all about Sugar Land's past and see documents, maps and equipment from the Imperial Sugar Refinery.  

Historic Photos

Sugar Land Fun Facts

  • Sugar Land was a company town for more than 50 years before it incorporated in 1959.

  • Sugar Land was the first community in the entire country to be named a Community of Respect (2007), and this is the 8th year (2014) that we have received that distinction.

  • The total area of Sugar Land is 24.9 square miles.  Of that, more than 560 acres is developed park land.

  • The fossil collection at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land ranks among the top 5 in the United States.

  • Sugar Land is home to a professional minor league sports teams – the Sugar Land Skeeters professional minor league baseball team.

For more Fun Facts, click here.