75 years ago

The government town of Camp Chemical, established hurriedly to relieve housing shortage during the construction period of the Dow Magnesium Corporation plant, also a government project, was ordered closed, T.B. Hyde, property manager, stated, but detailed information as to the disposition of the several hundred houses left is yet to be received. January 15 was the date the order was to become effective but in a later DPC communication from Washington the closing was postponed until further notice.

There are now 291 families living at Camp Chemical, Manager Hyde explained, and vacant houses enough for 100 or more others. It is presumed that some of these families will move to Lake Jackson, others to the government trailer camp, and probably a considerable number of them to Velasco and Freeport where vacant houses or apartments may be available.

It is remembered that Camp Chemical was established in March 1942 with houses enough for several thousand people. Many of the houses were 16 by 16 feet. There were some barracks and later some of the buildings were arranged for two-room apartments. The barracks and the apartments were more popular than the small one-room houses, which, it was stated, for several days were being built at the rate of one every 11 minutes, so rapidly was the new town being completed for new workmen coming in by the hundreds.

50 years ago

CLUTE — The city now has a dogcatcher on duty and will be picking up all animals that are running loose, City Mgr. Larry Broussard reported.

He said that stray animal complaints have been mounting at both City Hall and at the police station due to the illness of the city’s dogcatcher, J.F. Smith.

Until Smith, who underwent eye surgery recently, is able to return to work, another city employee will be picking up stray animals, Broussard said.

He said there will be a $5 charge to redeem an animal, plus $2 a day. In addition, Broussard added, the dog will have to get a rabies vaccination if it does not have one.

Persons who wish to reclaim their animals may do so at the police station located behind City Hall.

15 years ago

Mother Nature’s gift to Brazoria County was up to 13 inches of snow — a record for the county — and a wish granted for all who dreamed for a white Christmas.

The blink-and-you-miss-it snowflakes that first fell about 11:15 a.m. Christmas Eve were replaced by a steady sprinkling of snow that began to blanket Brazoria County by nightfall. It stopped some drivers in their tracks, and prompted others to step outside to witness the rarity.

At one point, National Weather Service meteorologists believe the dark skies released between 2 and 3 inches of snow each hour late Friday. Forecasters predicted snow was a possibility for the area known for its sunny skies and beaches, but those surfboards could’ve been used on land instead of water Saturday.

“Seeing is believing,” said Lake Jackson resident Wayne Pryor. “Here it is. … We’re used to T-shirts and jeans at Christmas time.”

Six-year-old Alia Cerda and her sister, Alexandria, 8, each wore three pairs of socks, two pairs of pants and three shirts plus their hooded jackets with gloves. The two Michigan girls were in Angleton visiting. But they couldn’t escape the snow, which they didn’t seem to mind as they gathered handfuls for a snowman.

“You folks actually had some thundersnow,” said Meteorologist Patrick Blood of the National Weather Service. That’s when there are thunderstorms with lightning and snow.

The unusual weather occurrence was caused by cold air and moisture pumped by an upper level low, Blood said. Snowfall levels increased from east to west.

Thirteen inches of snow fell in Brazoria, West Columbia had 8 inches, and the Angleton and Lake Jackson area had between 6 and 8 inches of snow. Between 3 and 4 inches fell in Alvin. Galveston had an inch.

Until Saturday, the greatest amount of snowfall for Brazoria County was three inches Jan. 22, 1940, followed by 2.5 inches Feb. 8, 1973, Blood said. The last measurable snowfall — less than 2 inches — was Dec. 21, 1989.

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