Baytown in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Near Home Site of John Peter Sjolander
A young Swede who came to America in 1871 to earn a living had, before he died, become famous as "The Sage of Cedar Bayou," folk poet for a generation of Texans.
Educated by his mother, Sjolander learned Swedish, German, and English by speaking a day of each in turn. His favorite poet was Robert Burns, whom he adopted as a model. He later studied at Trinity University in England, and eventually sailed for America, jumping ship at Galveston Bay to escape a cruel Captain.
Sjolander landed at Cedar Bayou, which enchanted him with its "trees almost meeting over the water, vines and flowers everywhere." He settled there and found it an inspiration for his pastoral verses.
Although he became a farmer, married, and reared six children, Sjolander continued to write, his work appearing in many periodicals. Editors urged him to compose weekly assignments, but he refused for he felt it would make his poetry less spontaneous.
In 1928, he published his collected poems, "Salt of the Earth and Sea," which contained verses on legendary heroes and mysterious events of Galveston Bay, as well as nature poems such as "The Bluebonnet".
For his many lyrics and ballads, Sjolander has become one of the memorable poets of Texas.
Erected 1967 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 10778.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 29° 48.1′ N, 94° 56.154′ W. Marker is in Baytown, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Landmark Drive and Sjolander Drive, on the right when traveling east on Landmark Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baytown TX 77521, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dr. Ashbel Smith (approx. 2.2 miles away); Wooster School (approx. 2.2 miles away); Hall of Cedar Bayou Masonic Lodge (approx. 3.3 miles away); Cedar Bayou Masonic Lodge (approx. 3.3 miles away); Cedar Bayou United Methodist Church (approx. 3.3 miles away); Humble Oil & Refining Company (approx. 4.9 miles away); K'Nesseth Israel Synagogue (approx. 5.1 miles away); Baytown Post Office (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baytown.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 59 times since then and 5 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on September 22, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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