2012 Spring Picnic

On March 31, 2012 the second Spring Picnic was held.  Several new acitivites were added

The loudest and most excitiing activity of the the second Spring Picnic was the Bonnie & Clyde shootout.  Everyone also enjoyed the sounds of the E-Flat Porch Band and the vintage baseball games featuring the Houston Babes, the Katy Combines and the Boerne White Sox.

The Antique Car, Buggy & Tractor Parade had a nice array of old wheels, including a number of antique tractors, several antique cars and two antique pickup trucks.

James Toman's collection of antique toys, mostly trucks of all sorts, was on display in the Santa Fe Museum.

Food and drink popular in the early 1900s was served.  

Historical information about all the activities and foods was presented on the signs located near each activity or booth.  

A quilt show was also held in conjunction with the Spring Picnic in 2012.  Nearly all of the quilts were antique hand-made quilts.  There were some very fine, well-made quilts in the exhibit.  Also on exhibit were antique hand-crocheted bed spreads. 

We were very fortunate to have many individuals and businesses come forth to sponsor the event.  We greatly appreciate the sponsors' willingness to help with the first Spring Picnic--it could not have been done without our sponsors.

Sealy Area Historical Society

Restoration of Caboose Complete

The Sealy Area Historical Society recently received funds from the Abe and Irene Levine Trust to restore the caboose located on the Santa Fe Museum Park grounds.  The caboose was manufactured in 1927 and is one of the first 150 steel cabooses manufactured for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.  Railroad companies refer to a caboose as a "way car."

The interior and exterior of the caboose are nearly original, despite having numerous coats of peeling paint.  The only additions and changes to the caboose are the addition of a toilet and electricity and replacement of the wooden tool/storage box beneath the caboose and replacement of the top rails on the cupola.

The caboose has been restored to its original 1927 appearance.  Restoration of the interior and exterior of the caboose is nearly complete, with only the details remaining to be added.


Membership Dinner

The Sealy Area Historical Society Dinner was held in November, 2010.  Members Sylvia and Mark Boles prepared the dinner that was served by candlelight at the home of members Nancy Naron and Dennis Holder.  Five new members joined SAHS this year and all of the new members attended the Membership Dinner.

Christmas Homes Tour

The SAHS sponsored the Christmas Homes Tour held in conjunction with the Fantasy of LIghts for the second time in 2010.  Four decorated homes and the St. John's Episcopal Church were on the tour.  All of the participants did a wonderful job of decorating their homes.

Fantasy of Trees 2011
Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Sealy Area Historical Society hosted a Fantasy of Trees at the Liedertafel on Saturday,
December 3 from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday, December 4, 2012 from Noon until 4:00 PM in conjunction with the Fantasy of Lights.

A display of Christmas trees sporting a variety of themes created a true Fantasy of Trees.
Annual Dinner Held Friday December 2, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the Liedertafel 

The Annual Membership Dinner was held Friday, December 2, 2011 at the Liedertafel the evening before the Fantasy of Trees opened to the public.  The dinner participants dined among the beautifully decorated trees and had a very enjoyable evening.  The dinner speaker was Matt Synatschk with the Texas Historical Commission.  Mr. Synatschk spoke about how to establish historic districts and their importance to the community.
2013 Spring Picnic

In 2013 the Sealy Area Historical Society held its third Spring Picnic on April 13.

Highlights of the 2013 Spring Picnic include:  

A Vintage Style Show spanning from the 1880s through the 1960s included some beautiful and interesting old clothing.  The skirts got shorter and shorter!  

An exhibit of antique toys and dolls was on display in the Santa Fe Museum.  Old restored photos from Sealy's past were available for viewing and for sale.  DVDs of the photos set to music are available for $5.00.

Games of yesteryear were participated in by many--the egg tosses are always very popular.  

Civil War era military camps were in place for three days and two nights.  The cannons drew attention from people all over town.

2011 Spring Picnic

The Sealy Area Historical Society held its first old an old-fashioned style Spring Picnic on April 2, 2011 on the grounds of the Santa Fe Museum located at Silliman and East Main in Sealy, Texas.  

The Picnic was a great success.   We hosted numerous games from the past, had a marionette show of Hansel & Gretel, a magic show, a performance by a dulcimer group, and, of course, the Antique Car, Tractor & Buggy Parade.

A quilt exhibit was held in the Liedertafel In conjunction with the first Spring Picnic.

2013 Ghost Tour

In 2013 the Sealy Area Historical Society held the first ever Ghost Tour in Sealy on the Saturday before Halloween.

Five downtown buildings and the Santa Fe Museum buildings were on the tour.  Tour guides were dressed in period attire and portrayed the spirits of early Sealy residents and business owners.  Tour goers heard about the ghost sightings and shenanigans in each building highlighted on the tour in addition to hearing about the history of the buildings and the families who owned the early businesses in downtown Sealy.

Members of the Houston Ghost Town and Paranormal Investigations group were on hand to explain the differences between the types of spiritual activity people have experienced in downton Sealy.  The ghost investigators accompanied tour goers along the tour route and took "readings" of ghost activity.  The ghost investigators also set up recording equipment in Ann's Resale Shop on Front Street and recorded several ghostly manifestations.
Civil War Savannah
Dinner with Authors Barry Sheehy and Cindy Wallace

Author Barry Sheehy and Historical Photographer Cindy Wallace presented their newly released book Civil War Savannah to members and the public on September 12, 2012.  Hor d’oeuvres and dinner were served.  The event was co-sponsored by the Sealy Area Historical Society and the Friends of the Gordon Memorial Library. 

The event was held at the Liedertafel and was well attended.  For more information visit www.civilwarsavannah.org.
1920s Fashion Show

A Fashion Show was held in conjunction with the 2016 Spring Picnic held at the Liedertafel on the second weekend in April.  Many volunteers were involved in this effort, including models, hairdressers, makeup artists, and those working behind the scenes to secure period clothing, and to serve food and drinks.

Enjoy some of the photos from the show!  Click to scroll and enlarge.

2017 Ghost Tour

The Ghost Tour in 2017 included a particularly interesting site, the old Sealy Rice Mill, a building that has been closed since the 1980s.  The mill has been undergoing renovations, but is almost entirely original to its first use as a rice drying and processing facility.  

Paranormal investigator Peter Haviland and psychic Diane Gremmel joined us to help explain the ghostly phenomena associated with the rice mill and other downtown buildings. 

Following the tour in 2017, paranormal investigators studied the old rice mill and recorded voices as well as a paranormal image of a man walking past one of the windows.  The image of a young girl has also been seen at the mill, and children have been overheard playing around the mill.

The Sealy Rice MillI was built in 1949 by Walter Virnau Sr. and his two half brothers, Ralph and John .  Walter Virnau Sr. was born in Salzburg, Germany in 1898. His father was a tailor and they lived in a 5-story tenement building.  His father died of pneumonia when he was five. After that it was very difficult for his mother to make a living and take care of her children. So, in 1904, his mother joined relatives in the United States. They traveled on a ship hauling cattle to the U.S .  Walter Virnau Sr.'s son, Walter Jr., was a rice farmer and started the Sealy Tractor Company.

The mill was built by carpenters Frank Vykoukal and his son Raymond.  The Vykoukals lived directly across the street.

The mill began producing milled rice in January, 1949. The Sealy Rice Mill was running 24 hours per day by December of 1949, with 30 employees and was producing 15,000 barrels of rice per day. The mill shipped rice to Germany and Cuba as well as around the United States. It was the only mill of its kind in the area.

They also constructed a rice storage facility across the street from the mill later in 1949. There were overhead conveyers that carried the rice across the street to the storage facility.

The mill produced bags of “Sealy Rice” and sold them locally. Recipes were printed on the bags.  The mill produced “finished” or milled rice until the early 1960s and later was used primarily as a drying facility through the 1980s.