Cypress residents who have questions about genealogy or who own a large collection of old family photographs may find use in a new research library run by the Cypress Historical Society.
The organization hosted its fourth annual picnic July 7, which also served as a grand opening for the facility located at Cypress Top Historic Park. The library houses several volumes of donated photographs, newspaper clippings, family names and other documents that tell the history of the area, from local businesses to schools.
"People can come in and look up their genealogy, or find out how to do it," said Jim Sigmund, researcher with CHS. "One difference in having a building is that now people are confident that if they donate their items, they will be preserved."
The CHS has collected information on families who settled in the Cypress area, even before the Texas Revolution in the 1830s, Sigmund said. Information from newspaper articles and historical documents can be found on several of the better-known families of the area such as the Juergens and the Weisers.
"We also try to photograph old homes before they are torn down so we can document those," Sigmund said. "Or if we find an old house that's been restored, we take a picture and try to find one of the same building 100 years ago."
Cy-Fair ISD is also represented in the research library, with photographs and articles about the district's earlier days.
The library was built through Harris County Precinct 3 Steve Radack's office to give Cypress residents a closer venue to research the area's history.
"The Harris County Historical Commission is huge, but it's located downtown so it's just not local enough," Sigmund said. "This is a place for northwest Harris County residents to put their memories, share stories and donate pictures."
Gene and Delphine Zaboroski previously owned the land on which the library sits, but they donated it to Harris County to be preserved as Cypress Top Historic Park, Sigmund said. The Zaboroskis are part of the Juergen family, which ran a general store at the site of the park for almost 100 years. The CHS—now a nonprofit organization—formed in 2008 as a group of volunteers who restored the property.
The research library is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the third Saturday of every month from mid-morning to 4 p.m.