Cedar Bayou Lodge
Cedar Bayou Masonic Lodge #321 was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Texas on June 18th, 1870. The Lumber for the building was sawed to order at Pensacola, Florida, and brought to Cedar Bayou by schooner. The vessel that brought the lumber barely escaped being caught in the Gulf by the great storm that swept the Texas Gulf Coast so destructively in September of that year. The Lodge building was finished on July 7th, 1876, and is the second oldest Masonic Lodge building still in continuous use in the State of Texas.
The bottom floor of the Lodge was opened so that it could be used as the first public school in east Harris county. It was used as such from 1876 to 1911. Cedar Bayou Lodge has the oldest Eastern Star Chapter in the state, Cedar Bayou Chapter No. 11 Order of the Eastern Star. Their Charter was received on May 17th, 1884, and they still meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at 7:30 pm.
In 1970, the Lodge was given the distinction of being a Texas Historical Landmark. It marked the 100th anniversary of Cedar Bayou Lodge and over 1,200 people attended the celebration.
Cedar Bayou, Texas
Cedar Bayou is at the intersection of Sjolander Road and the Southern
Pacific Railroad, two miles north of State Highway 146 within what is
now the city limits of Baytown in eastern Harris County. Though
the founding date of Cedar Bayou is uncertain, the first recorded burial
in the area was in 1810. In its early years and even as late as
the 1930s, the community was used as a shipping port for bricks and
other materials to Galveston Bay. A Methodist church was organized
at Cedar Bayou in 1844, and the community's first school was founded in
1845. In 1870 a Masonic lodge was started in the area, and in 1871
John Peter Sjolanderqv arrived at the community from his native Sweden.
From 1870 until sometime after 1930 Cedar Bayou had a post office.
In 1880 the community had thirty students under the instruction of
William K. Gourley, and by 1900 there were sixty students with two
teachers. By 1884 Baptist and Christian churches had been
organized at the community. In 1890 the town had a population of
200, three general stores, several steam gristmills and cotton gins, and
two brick manufacturers. In 1905 one Cedar Bayou school had six
black students and one teacher, and a second school had ninety white
students and three teachers. By 1914 Cedar Bayou had a population
of 400, as well as five general stores, a boatbuilder, and an
undertaker. In 1947 it reported a population of 500 and five
businesses. The town was annexed in 1955 by the city of Baytown.
In the early 1990s Cedar Bayou reported 1,287 inhabitants.