The county government in Texas is tied to the land - recording deeds and wills, adjudicating property disputes, building and maintaining roads and ferries, and collecting taxes. For all of these reasons, it is in the county's interest to maintain good, accurate records concerning the property.
This collection includes records connected to property and transportation in Harris County, be it the Traffic Way Plan for Houston Metropolitan Area and Harris County from May 1939, or early plans for Garden Oaks subdivision or photographs of intersections in East Houston in the 1960s or a photograph of Oscar Holcombe leasing city property along the Ship Channel to the Navigation District in 1922. The records are contained in various collections in the archives.
FINA Gas Station Photographs
Twenty-eight black and white 8 x 10-inch photoprints document thirteen FINA properties that encircle Houston. The photographs were found in County Judge William Elliott’s records with no explanation of why they were taken. Seven of the original thirteen properties are still operating related businesses (convenience stores, gas pumps, car washes) or have repurposed the FINA gas station architecture.
Although the photographs' original administrative value is unknown, their current value lies in their documentation of the suburban areas of Houston and Pasadena in 1974.
Harris County Parks
In 2011, approximately 270 slide transparencies in addition to negatives and photographs (1977 - 1997, n.d.) were found in a dumpster near the Harris County Administration Building at 1001 Preston in downtown Houston. These images document the development of county parks, activities, county employees and elected officials, and undeveloped areas of the county. Please contact the Harris County Archives for access to the entire collection.
Used by developers to identify specific blocks and lots in a new subdivision, plats were recorded with the local government or county. Plats can be as simple as a rectangle divided into lots or as complex as an entire neighborhood. They usually contain information on lot size, street names, and features such as railroads or bayous and were often used in promotional materials.