Marti Corn captures history of Tamina through photography


Marti Corn spent four years—from 2010-14—photographing and interviewing 13 Tamina residents and their families, compiling a written history of the century-and-a-half-old community in South Montgomery County.

“As they started opening up to me, what I found so heartwarming and what taught me the most is that they do not place their priorities on material things,” Corn said. “It’s all about taking care of one another. I think that’s a lesson we all need to learn.”

After spending hours at the local heritage museum researching Tamina, Corn said she found the community only had about three paragraphs of documented history on record. This discovery sparked her interest in the four-year project.

“As I started really developing my photography skills, I always knew I wanted to do documentary work,” Corn said. “As I went into this community, it  continued to build interest in me—this pastoral community that is just such a contrast to all the neighboring towns.”

Founded in the 1870s, the small community has been fighting to receive basic necessities like public sewer service for more than 15 years.

Corn, who has a degree in journalism with photojournalism and graphic design specialties, also runs a graphic design firm, Corn Creative, she said.

“After Tamina, I received a grant and worked with refugees who had resettled in Houston,” Corn said. “Then I went to Kenya, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 2 1/2 years.”

After Corn published Tamina’s history, a portrait of resident Johnny Jones was accepted into a show at the Smithsonian Institution, she said.

Now, Corn is preparing for a show featuring her Tamina works at Lone Star College System’s Montgomery and Kingwood campuses, aiming to educate communities of the unincorporated community’s historical significance.

“I just have this—some would say insane—sense of justice,” Corn said. “I get really angry when I see people that are being mistreated or marginalized. In order for me to use that anger that is in a useful way, I turn to the camera.”

Corn Creative
4010 Yupon St., Houston

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  1. WubbuLubbaDubDub

    Ha, 2 of the 3 documented paragraphs of history are about drug abuse and the third is about prostitution. Most of the crime in the area of Tamina are caused by the residents of Tamina.

  2. RE: “the small community has been fighting to receive basic necessities like public sewer service for more than 15 years.” You should do more homework and see that BOTH communities surrounding Tamina have offered help by allowing a connection into their waste water systems. Even when Tamina was offered a very low interest loan from the Dept. of Agriculture to assist in paying for it, Tamina turned down the money and the help. Please do all of the homework if you plan to be a journalist. Only telling part of the story should signal a “sense of justice”

Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.
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