Fruitland

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Map of Brazoria County

Anchor is at the intersection of Farm roads 521 and 44 four miles northwest of Angleton in central Brazoria County. A two-story residence that was once the Whistler Hotel is all that remained in the 1980s to mark a once thriving town that stood at the junction of three railroads. The Columbia Tap, from Houston to East Columbia, was built through the area about 1852. The Houston and Brazos Valley crossed the original line in 1893, at a point first called Chenango Junction. In 1908 a third line was built through to Sugar Land. Four passenger trains ran through Anchor each day until World War I; afterward the passenger and freight traffic increased. A depot built in the 1890s handled all railroad business from West Columbia and Brazoria, and many "special trains" took people to the circus in Houston, to tours of a ship in port at Galveston, to a baseball game at Velasco, or elsewhere.

The town was established near the site of an earlier settlement known as Fruitland, at the junction of the International-Great Northern and the Velasco Terminal railroads. Jacob Whistler moved his family to this junction in 1895 and changed its name to Anchor, in honor of his former hometown in Illinois. Lots were sold at the site, but the development failed, and Fruitland lots later became an extension of the Anchor townsite. The Whistlers built a hotel and restaurant to accommodate passengers who switched trains there. A post office was established in 1897 with George W. Richey as postmaster. Eventually Anchor had two general stores, two sawmills, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, a cafe, a plant for processing frog legs, day and night Western Union service, two churches, and its own school, where Miss Minnie McMillan (later Mrs. Holland) taught from about 1914 to 1917.

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Marie Beth Jones | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Fruitland is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Fruitland is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Anchor)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No