Pearland City Council approved an ordinance July 9 to change the names of County Road 59, Southfork Drive, Magnolia Road and John Lizer Road to one cohesive name—Magnolia Parkway. This road travels through several jurisdictions with multiple name changes, so city staff recommended the change.
City Council notified the 135 residents who will be directly affected by this change on June 29. The city has also communicated with 9-1-1 emergency officials, the U.S. Postal Service, Brazoria County and the City of Manvel regarding this change, as well.
Skipper Jones, Pearland assistant director of capital projects, said the city plans for this project to be done by the end of August or early September. The city will have to replace road signs at a small cost.
The name change was originally only supposed to affect a portion of John Lizer Road, but City Council members voted to extend the change to cover the entire road up to Liberty Drive, which means there will be no other form of remembrance for Pearland pioneer John Lizer for the time being.
Pearland Historical Society President John Mark said Lizer came to Pearland in September 1910, drawn by newspaper ads offering free transportation and free hotel stays for people to come to Pearland, describing the town as a “tropical paradise.” He served as the drainage district commissioner for several years, and the Lizer family owned and operated both Monarch Garage and Lizer Café.
“It’s always upsetting for us old-timers to see them taking names off that signify pioneers of the Pearland area,” Mark said.
The city named the road after Lizer in 2004.
“Personally, while I understand it’s confusing for the roads across Pearland to change names every few blocks, I hate to see John Lizer’s name coming off that stretch of road. To my knowledge, that road is the only thing with his name on it still,” said Phil Amick, Pearland Historical Society junior member.
Amick said Pearland Historical Society has plans to discuss an alternative way to memorialize Lizer at its next quarterly meeting.
“They say a man dies three times: once when his body dies, once when his body is buried and once when his name is forgotten,” Amick said. “We’ll have to find another way to keep John Lizer’s name alive.”