(Picture taken from: http://visitsugarlandtx.com/About-Us/Photo-Tour.aspx)
Also, the nice thing about the Oyster Creek trail is I can walk to Wal-Mart (the brown building in the pictures), shop, and come back. No car necessary. Have I ever done it? No. But in the event my parents tell me to go to Wal-Mart and we don’t have cars, at least I have an alternative. Where the Karankawas had to fish and do all their chores on the coast of the creek, I can just walk to Wal-Mart. Would they use Wal-Mart if it had existed back in their time? Who knows?
(Pictures taken by me)
I view Oyster Creek as a creek that has brought, is bringing, and will bring people together. I see Oyster Creek as a creek that has seen the rise and fall of many. I see Oyster Creek as a creek that has so much potential that is ignored by contemporary society. Yet, at times, I too am part of the contemporary society that ignores Oyster Creek and its importance; why spend time being in awe of a body of water and what it has gone through when I have better tasks to do? Thankfully, Oyster Creek will always be patiently waiting for me to come back to my senses.
(Pictures taken by me)
Oyster Creek does have some political importance, even if it is ignored by the masses. In the past, it was largely used as transport of goods as governments were being established – firstly, the American government, then the Texas state government, and finally, the city governments. It also provided materials for goods to be made and shipped, such as the oysters that can be found along the bank of the creek; this mode helped to build the civilizations around it financially. But Oyster Creek also symbolizes the loss of a people and the loss of a nation – the Karankawa Native Americans. It symbolizes the United States’ Manifest Destiny – the building and advancement of one nation and the deterioration and extinction of another.
Photo taken by me
The creek definitely represents not only an important part of Texas history but the spirit of Texas citizens. Not only does it invoke a sense of discovery and a desire to venture out of one’s comfort zone, but it also appeals to one’s need to slow down, relax, and contemplate. While the creek was being used as transport, it was also an important part of the settlement process with Austin and his Three Hundred Families. Having the desire to explore is fine, but one has to remember that there is nothing wrong with being contemplative once in a while.
Most people, though, are unaware of the creek’s existence and even more so of its history. Oyster Creek is not even mentioned in the Texas History books, much less its significance in the context of Texas settlement. In this sense, the creek also signifies the forgotten aspects of Texas history – the forgotten events that and the forgotten people who shaped, are shaping, and will continue to shape the Lone Star State. If anything, what people remember about the creek is the park around it. Although, people are definitely justified in having that kind of selective memory because, as Tracey S. mentions in an Oyster Creek Park review, there are “not that there are many [parks in the Sugar Land area] to choose from” (Yelp). The creek itself has become interesting trivia to know rather than an important piece of Texas history and an important body of water like the Mississippi River or the Hudson River.
Works Cited: “Oyster Creek Park.” Web. 3 Dec. 2014. http://www.yelp.com/biz/oyster-creek-park-sugar-land
While Oyster Creek is not necessarily a body of water that attracts money from consumers like a river-based waterpark would, it has been used in the past as a mode of transport for goods such as “cotton and sugarcane” (Hardin); even the land around it “was so suited to farming” (Hardin) that Texas “bought much of the area for use as prison farms” (Hardin); four of these prison facilities – Jester, Central, Ramsey, and Retrieve – are still in use today, although they are not used as prison farms. The shells along the banks, also, have had a role in providing funds for Texas; in the 1950s, an entire local industry was based off these shells and “tons were shipped” (Hardin) yearly to assist in road construction and product creation.
In contemporary times, the creek is not used much. Most of the activity relating to the creek – at least in the Fort Bend County area – occurs in the areas around it, whether it’s the Missouri City Oyster Creek Trail or the Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land. Additionally, many concerts are held in a large field next to the Oyster Creek Park entrance under large tents as well as holiday celebrations, such as Independence Day and Christmas, bringing revenue for the city of Sugar Land. I have never been to any concerts at the park, but I have been to at least three Fourth of July celebrations. I always like going to them when I can because these celebrations always bring people of the Fort Bend area together in remarkable and truly awe-inspiring ways.
Works Cited: Hardin, Stephen L. “Oyster Creek.” 15 June 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rbo37