Pearland and The Santa Fe Railroad
Marker No: 9582
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: N 29° 33.049 W 095° 15.407
Location: 3501 Liberty Drive , Pearland
Marker Text: The Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad built a siding switch called "Mark Belt" near here in 1883 as part of its Houston to Alvin branch rail line. In 1893 William Zychlinski purchased 2560 acres in this area which he subdivided and platted in 1894. Included in Zychlinski's subdivision was the 273-acre townsite of Pearland.
S. M. Christensen, president of the Southern Homestead Company, contracted to develop the townsite. As part of a plan to attract settlers to the townsite Christensen planted numerous pear and other fruit trees.
In 1900 the Santa Fe Railroad built a depot nearby which soon became a gathering place for settlers to meet visitors and pick up mail and supplies. Locally produced cotton, hay, cattle, fruit and vegetables were shipped to market by railroad from the depot.
Pearland's development, delayed by the devastating storm of 1900, surged about 1910 as the Allison-Richey Suburban Gardens Co. successfully promoted the area as an agricultural wonderland with vital railroad access.
Oil production, cattle ranching, and hay, rice, and fig farming sustained Pearland's growth. The railroad's importance diminished and in 1972 the depot closed. It was donated to the city and moved here through the efforts of many citizens and organizations. (1994)