Address:
408 East Main Street
Eagle Lake, TX 77434
Phone:
(979) 234-7442
Hours:
M-F 9 - 1 pm
Weekends 2 - 5 pm

Map:
click below for a full map
Join Us for a Museum Book Launch October 13, 2012!
See Details on the Events Page!

Today there is a quiet country breeze over the historic marker left at the site of the old sugar mill, built in 1901 on Lakeside Drive near Eagle Lake. The bustling sugar business and the noisy rail cars of the old Whangdoodle train brought sugar cane from thousands of acres of nearby plantations. Many in recent generations will admit to being unaware of the importance of the sugar industry to Eagle Lake and to Texas in the early twentieth century. And little could we imagine that the old refinery, long gone, is still alive and producing sugar, reborn in 1919 from its original trappings, near Kingston, Jamaica.

Our Lakeside Sugar Refinery, rediscovered, is surrounded by fertile cane fields, distant hills, and the nearby Caribbean Sea. The Bernard Lodge Estate Refinery in St. Catherine Province, Jamaica, was constructed in 1919 from the buildings, machinery, and materials dismantled piece by piece from the Lakeside Sugar Refinery in Texas in 1918. The Lakeside mill was owned at that time by the J.D. White Company of New York. The mill had closed in 1913. Mr. Maurice Miller was sent from New York to supervise the repair and rebuilding of the valuable machinery, and the dismantling of the Lakeside Mill, which had been idle for five years. He served as superintendent of the project and of the ninety men who carried out the deconstruction. The building materials and equipment were loaded onto 100 rail cars for shipment from Lakeside to Galveston harbor. The materials were then transported by ship to Kingston, and to the reconstruction site between Kingston and Spanish Town. Mr. Miller accompanied the shipload, and remained in Jamaica to supervise and manage the new building project and the new refinery.

Since its construction from the original Lakeside Refinery building materials and machinery in 1919, the Bernard Lodge Sugar Factory has been owned privately, and by United Fruit Company, Jamaica Sugar Manufacturing Company, National Sugar Company, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, The Sugar Company of Jamaica, and was recently purchased in 2011 by Complant International Sugar Industry Company (CISCL), a Chinese based company which has acquired the three remaining government owned sugar factories in Jamaica.

Although the face, name, location, and ownership have changed, the old Lakeside Sugar Refinery still lives through its original buildings and equipment, carrying its Texas roots as one of the largest refineries in the South, and now producing tons of sugar and ethanol yearly for local and international consumption from its Jamaican home.

Sandra C. Thomas 

Our Mission

To preserve and share the history and culture of Eagle Lake, Texas and surrounding areas through our collections, publications, archives, artifacts, and educational programs.

Our Vision

To become a premier small town museum and center for education, research, and enjoyment of the roots and culture of our community and region. Support our vision with your visits, contributions, and volunteerism. Join our efforts to collect, catalog, and preserve our history for future generations.