SIENNA PLANTATION, TEXAS. Sienna Plantation is a residential community located off State Highway 6 near the Houston Southwest Airport, about twenty miles southwest of Houston and six miles southeast of Missouri City in eastern Fort Bend County. The affluent subdivision is on land that has a long history as a sugar and cotton plantation. South Carolina planter Jonathan D. Waters purchased the large tract in 1840, and his operation included his own wharf along the Brazos River where ships loaded and unloaded commercial goods. Houston businessman and civic leader Thomas W. House purchased the property in 1872, and fellow Houstonite and mayor Thomas H. Scanlan acquired the plantation in 1913. Scanlan's daughters, as part of their estate, entrusted the property to the Scanlan Foundation, an organization benefiting Catholic charities, and in the 1950s and 1960s the Houston diocese operated the land as the Cenacle Retreat under the direction of the Cenacle Sisters. They chose the name Sienna Plantation in honor of the Siena area of Tuscany in Italy, and the retreat operated until 1972. By 1978 developers sought approval of the Sienna Plantation project, a large planned community. In the mid-1980s the Johnson Corporation began to construct family homes and condominiums as well as roadways and a ten-mile-long levee across approximately 6,000 wooded acres to provide flood protection. In the 1990s the community encompassed more than 7,300 acres, including 2,000 acres of parkland. Amenities included a country club, eighteen-hole golf course, amphitheater, nature trails, and other recreational facilities. Sienna Plantation had a population of 1,896 in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sienna Plantation website (http://www.texasbest.com/neighbor/sienna/main.html), accessed June 9, 2004. Vertical Files (Fort Bend County, Texas), Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Laurie E. Jasinski
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