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BAMMEL, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Harris County, Texas Gulf Coast
FM 1960 and Kuykendahl Road
18 Miles N of Houston
Population: Absorbed into Greater Houston

Bammel, Texas Area Hotels > Houston Hotels

History in a Pecan Shell

The community dates from 1915 when Houstonian Charles Bammel and his business partner built the “Bammel and Kuehnle Merchandise Store.” In 1916 there were enough residents to request a post office – and one was opened inside the store with Herman Kuehnle as postmaster.

The store burned in 1927 but was soon rebuilt. The post office, however, closed in 1929. Prior to 1929 there are no population estimates but 1929’s rough estimate was about 50 people.

In 1938 there was an oil discovery which boosted the population to 200 by 1943. But the proximity to Houston left only 20 residents by the end of that decade.

The town has since been absorbed by Greater Houston.
Bammel Texas
Where Bammel once was
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, May 2010
Photographer's Note:

THE ROAD TO BAMMEL, TEXAS

The sprawl of an urban metropolis, as in other states, gobbles up outlying communities making them invisible. Circling Houston's northwest quadrant, the towns of Satsuma, North Houston, Kohrville, Klein, Westfield and others have disappeared during the last 30 years like persons who stepped in quicksand. As for Bammel, I have been to a favorite restaurant there many times; although I was unaware I was in the former town.

Bammel’s GPS location shows it as being in the intersection of FM1960 & Kuykendahl. A bridge over Kuykendahl at this intersection was recently completed to relieve traffic congestion. I had hoped that a current view of where Mr. Bammel’s store was located might be a window into the past.

Looking for remnants, accidentally on purpose, we arrived at our destination much like a circling buzzard finding road kill. I got out of our car with my white Stetson on, partially to protect me from the bright sunlight and partially to be seen.

I began to compose a photo of the intersection. Immediately I could tell I needed a higher angle of view and it would be more colorful if I made it at dusk when the lights would be on. I was still looking to improve the scene when I noticed two white cars pull off Kuykendahl a few feet in front of me.

The first car had a man and a woman in it, but the second had only one man who looked like he may have been a drug lord. The occupants of both cars gave me a good looking-over. I glanced behind me to see that my wife had moved our car forward to close the gap between us providing a refuge if needed. Over the last 30 years, FM1960 (formerly Jack Rabbit Road), has been developed to the nth degree, but now it is well along into a decline.

Regardless of my perceived threat from the second 2nd car, it moved on in the strip center out of sight. The car with the man and woman though made a gentle circle and approached me on the passenger side. I judged them to be upright citizens. As the car rolled to a stop, the seventy-five year old lady rolled down her window. The driver was probably her son, which I judged to be in his mid-fifties.

"Are you here photographing the traffic light” she asked? I told her no, I was recording the current location scene of where Mr. Bammel’s store had historically been located. She said "Oh, yes, Bammel's store". At this point her son chimed in, too. "That’s right, it was right here. I thought you might be timing the traffic light since the caution light is really short sometimes." She stated that she had spoken to a man who hated those traffic cameras and if he was to get a ticket he wanted it to come from an officer not a machine.

On today’s trip, she found out that this intersection's cameras were not the ticket issuing kind. I found there are roads to Bammel but no signs tell you when you arrive.
- Ken Rudine, May 08, 2010

Bammel, Texas
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