Pioneering the Future, Preserving the Past

When Louis A. Vogelsang bought one of the properties that he’d been leasing since 1912, Vogelsang’s General Merchandise Store was well-known as the biggest distributor of Buster Brown shoes south of Chicago…and a mainstay of downtown Rosenberg. In addition to farm implements, sugar, flour, fabric, and buttons, you could also get a scoop of ice cream in your root beer, served by Mary Vogelsang herself.

Over a hundred years later, the Vogelsang Antique Emporium features antiques, a wine room, a cafe, a theater, and a specialty food shop. In 1987 the site was awarded a Texas Historical Plaque. Louis’s grandson Robert “Mr. Bob” Vogelsang says, “I believe in preserving and honoring our past, even as we pursue the advancements of the future.”

His grandfather would be amazed by the technological advances made by his grandson. After graduating from the University of Texas where he met his wife Marcia, Bob worked as an electrical engineer for Collins Radio on equipment used by NASA. He says, “I left to earn my MBA and became a professor at the University of Dallas and eventually served as assistant to the dean. Then some friends from Collins called me up with an idea for a new project.”

When Bob opened the National Satellite Technical Institute, it was the first satellite technical school in America. He says, “We set up eight antennae in the parking lot where Bob’s Tacos is now. We started Global Communications Systems, Inc, to provide satellite television services to the apartments of Houston. Then I founded the National Satellite Network and we pioneered ‘pay-per-view’ satellite to the hotels of Vegas. Today as regulations change, we’re expanding into new areas.” As President of the National Satellite Cable Association and eventually of the National Satellite Programming Network, Bob saw the industry take off. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of fiber optics. He not only pioneered this technology…he’s still advancing its use today through the magazine, Broadband Communities Magazine (formerly Broadband Properties LLC).

Fueled by the future, the Vogelsang Antique Emporium brings you the experience of the past. You may see Marcia behind the counter, welcoming you. A class from Texas Tech drew up the plans for renovations of the old building, including the dramatic central staircase and rooms of antique treasures. Ready for lunch? Ol’ Railroad Cafe Chefs Dillon and Daniel offer Texas-sized deli sandwiches and sensational salads…or drop by on the weekend for homemade waffles, omelets, pancakes and french toast. Leticia will make sure your coffee stays full and your visit runs smoothly.
What’s that delicious smell wafting through the building? Mike Mercado makes Artisan Jams and Jellies right in the kitchen of Brazos River Provisions. You may have seen his delicious creations at Spec’s or Bucees…but the magic happens in Rosenberg!”

BR Vino (the only wine room in Historic Downtown Rosenberg) offers great music, unique appetizers, and incredible ambiance. A graduate of the University of Houston, Chef Bobby has studied nutrition, culinary science, and hotel management and is a certified level one Sommelier whose food has been featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” “Good Eats,” and four times on “190N.”

Twenty-five years ago, Bob took advantage of the boarded up windows of the old Masonic Lodge and converted it into Cast Theatrical. Call for your tickets for the upcoming performance June 13-July 5th “An Inspector Calls” 8pm Friday & Saturday (not on July 4th) with Matinees on June 21st and July 6 2:30. Treat your child or grandchild to summer drama camp. For more information, visit

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