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Joseph S. and Lucie H. Cullinan Park has a colorful history and a bright future thanks to the visionaries who wisely preserved this invaluable oasis of nature in the midst of suburban Fort Bend County. The 754-acre park is located on Hwy 6, just north of Hwy. 90A in Sugar Land, Fort Bend County. Cullinan boasts frontage on Oyster Creek and Red Gully, as well as encompassing White Lake and Pumpkin Lake. There are more than four miles of shady trails through extensive prairie and woodland acreage. It is well known as a place to enjoy birding, fishing, hiking, picnicking and other outdoor activities.
In 1989, the Houston Parks Board purchased the land that is now Cullinan Park, preserving a pristine tract of land from the encroachment of suburbia. The park was created following a gift from Nina Cullinan as well as donations from the Brown Foundation, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the City of Houston. After Nina Cullinan’s death, half of her estate was left to the Houston Parks Board with the intention creating a nature park named after her parents Joseph S. and Lucie H. Cullinan.
The Park was annexed in 2016 by the City of Sugar Land with an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Houston and the City of Sugar Land. Sugar Land has responsibilities for operating and maintaining the park. The Cullinan Park Conservancy seeks to support these efforts.
The lands of Cullinan Park were first settled in 1828 by Alexander Hodge, a member of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred. For over 150 years, this Columbia Bottomland country was used for raising cattle, sugar cane, and other crops. The property has yielded a number of pre-historic and historic artifacts. In recent decades, large areas of grassland have been covered with woodland growth, significantly altering the biologic and visual character of the site.
A walk around Cullinan's White Lake Trail will lead you to historic Hodges Bend Cemetery, the land which was granted to Alexander Hodge by Stephen F. Austin in 1828. You'll see about 75 graves, with most of the headstones dating back to the 1850s. There haven't been any burials in the cemetery since 1942, but many of the headstones are still fully legible. A large percentage are descendants of Hodge and other early settlers.