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Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road
Houston, TX 77055

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Third Thursday of each month
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm

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Email: Phone: 713-557-1496

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MONTHLY HAS MEETING April 15th, 2021.

Back to Bondage: The Sugar Land 95 Archeological Project

Sugarland 95

The next monthly meeting of the Houston Archeological Society will be held on Thursday, April 15th via ZOOM.  Bioarcheologist Dr. Catrina Whitley, and archeologists Ron Ralph and Reign Clark will present a program entitled Back to Bondage: The Story of the Sugar Land 95. This project has been the subject of many recent news stories when construction efforts at a school site in Sugar Land revealed 95 graves of former convicts. HAS members will receive a link to the ZOOM meeting shortly. The business meeting will start at 7:00 but we will open the meeting to HAS members at 6:30 to offer everyone 30 minutes to socialize. The program will begin 7:15 on Zoom and will also be livestreamed starting at 7:15 p.m. on the HAS YouTube channel

The story of the Sugar Land 95 began with a cultural resources investigation that was conducted within the James Reese Career and Technical Center in Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Texas, by Goshawk Environmental Consulting, Inc. under principal investigator, Ron Ralph, in October 2017. The project area was once part of the larger Central State Prison Farm owned by the State of Texas since 1908. No human material was found during the monitoring phase. But on February 19, 2018, several bones were accidentally discovered by a construction worker.  After determining they were human, the process to answer questions surrounding the origin of the bones began. It would in the end become the discovery of the largest unknown convict cemetery in the State of Texas.

Reign Clark, Project Manager, began mechanical scraping of the area to determine the cemetery edges until eventually 95 graves were discovered.  Exhumation work began on 6 June 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Catrina Whitley, Bioarcheologist, and required over 85 days to complete. Archeological work was completed in September 2018. Exhaustive laboratory analysis and archival research went into the compilation of a 500-page report of findings revealing the cemetery was connected to Bullhead Convict Labor Camp, a camp that operated there from circa 1875 to 1908.  Reign Clark returned there to oversee the reinterment process of the “Sugar Land 95”, as they became locally known, in November 2019, where they now rest in their original graves.

DNA and isotope analysis as well as genealogical research continues today in the quest for locating descendants and to actually put names on markers at the Bullhead Convict Labor Camp Cemetery.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact HAS President, Linda Gorski, at


HAS Journal No. 143 is now available. The Journal Number 143, is an issue dedicated exclusively to archeology in the Western United States. This issue highlights the widespread interests of members of the Houston Archeological Society which cover not just the Gulf Coast and Texas, but many areas outside the state including the Western U.S. The papers included in this issue cover sites and archeological materials in West Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and California. These papers include research on material that ranges from potentially before Clovis, to the Paleoindian, Archaic, Late Prehistoric, and Historic periods. Complimentary copies may be obtained by HAS members at the monthly meetings. Non-HAS members may purchase copies through Go to the HAS Journals Section for a link to the publication on the website. Alternatively, copies may be purchased at the HAS Monthly Meetings.

The Lone Oak Site (41CD168): A 12,000 Year Old Occupation in Northern Colorado County, Texas NOW AVAILABLE

Report #36. The Lone Oak site is located in northern Colorado County approximately 0.6 km east of the Fayette County line. The site is 7.5 kilometers (4.65 miles) northwest of the community of Frelsburg, Texas, and 25 kilometers north of Columbus, the county seat of Colorado County. The site was named by the land owner after a small historic community of the same name near the property. Both the name and the site’s location have been registered with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin and a trinomial number was assigned to the Lone Oak site (41CD168). This publication is available free to members of the Society. Members should make sure that they collect their copy of this report at the next monthly meeting. If you wish to purchase additional copies then you can find them on You can find the appropriate links in our List section.

To learn more about the history behind our archeological society contact Publicity/Outreach: