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 Texas : Features : Columns : 15 Minutes of Separation
The "Lost" Towns of NW Harris County:
Bammel | Kohrville | Louetta | North Houston | Satsuma

If these are ghost towns,
why are there so many people here?

Although they now only exist as sign names at large intersections (Barker-Cypress, Bammel-North Houston, Aldine-Bender, Alief-Clodine, et. al.). It may surprise non-natives that all of these names once represented once struggling or proudly self-sufficient towns. Even the inside-the-loop street of Crosstimbers was once a separate town.

While most people associate ghost towns with ruins and desolation - these ghosts live among us. Were aisles seven and eight at your local HEB once a syrup mill? Was Radio Shack once a livery stable? Best Buy a cornfield or cotton gin?

Are there unmarked graves under the floor of your favorite Mexican restaurant?

The short answer is this: In many cases these villages were already ghost towns - or so close to being ghost towns that you could hardly tell the difference. Most had their life-blood drained from them after WWII with the migration of rural families to Houston. The phenomenon was statewide. Dallas and Ft. Worth have their fair share of postwar "absorbed" ghost towns - as do smaller cities.

Then "Edge City" happened. The relentless march of strip centers, subdivisions and gated communities overtook these former towns until only the names and cemeteries remained.

While the subject is worthy of further investigation (exactly where is the Lily White cemetery behind Memorial City Shopping Center?), we're happy to include this topic, made possible by generous grant of time, sweat and research by the Team Rudine.

- Editor
"15 Minutes of Separation"
May 12, 2010 column
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