The Cy-Fair area, or Cypress-Fairbanks by its full name, is actually made of several communities. Cypress, parts of Katy, parts of Jersey Village, and parts of Houston are all incorporated into the area known as Cy-Fair.
According to the Cy-Fair Chamber, Cy-Fair's history dates back to the 19th century.
"Farmers and ranchers settled the Cy-Fair area during the middle of the 19th Century. Good soil, plentiful water, and some forested land attracted the early settlers. A one-room school was built in 1884 on the site of today’s Cy-Fair High School campus. The all-important school district was formed in 1939, when the communities of Cypress and Fairbanks consolidated their educational programs. Residential population increased moderately until the boom years of the past few decades suburbanized this formerly rural territory. Following the opening of Houston Intercontinental Airport and development of the Champions country club subdivision in the late-1960s, Cy-Fair was recognized as a desirable suburban residential location. Subsequently, Houston’s unprecedented job and population growth generated strong housing demand in this northwest community area. Residential developers responded with a wide variety of subdivisions, housing types and price ranges. As a result, custom homes, affordable production-builder homes and apartments were all added to the Cy-Fair area. With the addition of thousands of residents, new commercial demand was generated. Many of the new stores and services were developed along such major thoroughfares as FM 1960, State Highway 249, Jones Road, U.S. 290 and State Highway 6. Development of Willowbrook Mall established a strong local commercial focus. Population of the area’s zip codes is just over 732,546 persons."
Cypress, a suburb of Houston and part of the area that makes up Cy-Fair, is also rich in history.
"Rumor has it that there’s a fortune buried in Cypress. The story goes that Mexicans heading home from East Texas were carrying a lot of wealth with them when attacked by Indians somewhere along Cypress Creek in the early 1830s. With nothing better to do than defend themselves, they decided to use their spare time to dig a hole and put their Treasure in it. Whether any of the Mexicans survived or not, the tale concludes that the money’s still in the ground. To this day, optimists continue the search. (A favorite locale is where the Southern Pacific’s railroad tracks cross Cypress Creek, just south of the community.)
But even those who aren’t dreamers have found something to treasure: the quality of life in Cypress. Since the 1840s, this rural community has attracted settlers. True, it never lived up to the name Cypress “City,” which later boosters called it. The more realistic folks called it “Cypress Top,” even after the Houston & Texas Central Railway line reached the town in 1856. The earliest families in the area included the Zahns, the Bahrs, the Quades, Krahns, and Matzkes. They shared a post office with the Spring Creek settlement of Rosehill. Mail reached them by train. (Tomball, closer in to Houston , had to settle for delivery by horseback.) The immigrants were industrious, and the area soon had the usual commercial establishments: a corn-cracking mill, a cotton gin and a sawmill.
Cypress, as with other places along the Gulf Coast , benefited from the turn-of-the-century oil boom. However, with Cypress the drilling took an unusual turn . . . A crew looking for oil discovered a hot artesian well. Soon there was a “Houston Hot Well Sanitarium and Hotel” near the spot. City folks came up on the train from Houston to soak themselves in mineral baths. Huge concrete basins held the waters. Today the hotel is gone, and the site occupied by a shooting range; but the concrete basins remain.
Later, the good life became even livelier, with the construction of a dance hall-made of iron-on Huffmeister Road. A more mundane (but longer-lasting) building was the Juergen’s General Store, dating from 1898. Like the concrete basins at the mineral spring, this two-story structure is still present. However, unlike the basins, it’s still used for its original purpose.
The Kitzmann family also had a general store in Cypress , but later moved on to other endeavors: John A. Kitzmann, a repair shop for Fords in 1920, and followed this up with a Chevrolet facility in 1927, selling cars as well as servicing them.
Today Cypress sits alongside Hempstead Road , but the community was originally located north of where it is now. Despite nearly 150 years of changes, Cypress preserves an awareness of its heritage-and an awareness of its continuing charm in the modern world.
Cypress is on U.S. Highway 290 twenty miles northwest of Houston in northwestern Harris County . Various Atakapan Indian tribes once inhabited the area, but they quickly died out when white settlers moved into the area. German immigrants began settling along Cypress Creek in the 1840s near where some Anglo-Americans were already ranching. In the 1980s many of the original settler families were remembered through streets and schools that bore their names, like Huffmeister Road and Matzke Elementary. In 1878 a dance hall was built on Huffmeister Road, but it burned a few years later. Settlers soon rebuilt it with the financial support of the Cypress Gun and Rifle Club, this time using corrugated tin. Tin Hall was still a popular dance hall more than a century after its construction. The first Cypress school was built in 1884. The original one-room school later developed into the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, which in the 1980s served the second largest area of the state's school districts, surpassed only by the Houston ISD. With the discovery of oil along the Gulf Coast in 1904, the Cypress area began to develop rapidly. A hot artesian well was discovered by surprised drillers only a mile from Cypress . This find resulted in the Houston Hotwell Sanitarium and Hotel; the well was frequently sought for the healing powers its mineral waters supposedly provided. In the 1980s the site was occupied by the Hot Wells Shooting Range . Rice and dairy farming were the main occupations of Cypress residents until the suburbanization of the area began in the 1950s. Because of the local interest in farming, the Cy-Fair Rodeo has been a favorite community event since its establishment in 1944 by Forrest Arnold. In the mid-1980s the community proper was unincorporated and had fewer than 100 residents, but the greater Cypress area was a suburb of Houston composed of many subdivisions and thousands of inhabitants. In 2000 the Cypress-Fairbanks area reported a population of 18,527."