Focus on the Backroads » Photo Journeys

FOCUS ON THE BACKROADS: HISTORIC TEXAS CEMETERIES

Throughout the backroads of Texas are scattered one of our most valuable and ignored historic resources: HISTORIC TEXAS CEMETERIES.  Some are located in our major cities, some in small towns, some off major highways, and some are at the end of long dirt roads.  Many of these cemeteries are the only thing remaining of once very thriving communities.

These cemeteries are reminders of earlier settlers of the Lone Star State.  These folks built homes, churches, businesses, raised families, fought wars, and laid the foundation of what would become the state of Texas.

What makes a Texas cemetery historic?  Any cemetery 50 years or older that landmarks the presence of a family or community qualifies.

There are over 50,000 historic cemeteries in Texas, many of these have not been recored.  You can check out all the documented cemeteries to date by county by searching the Texas Historical Commission website – or of course you can  drive the backroads and turn every time you see a sign that points out a cemetery –  I might see you there.

Every cemetery has a story to tell.  Sometimes it is the history a family or settlement.   Many times you find the graves of famous Texans, soldiers that have fought in many of our wars, past Texas Rangers (not baseball players),   young mothers and children that died during child birth.  I  even found a marker that said “this stranger wandered into town and was shot” – wish I knew who that stranger was.

If you are truly interested in Texas History you might consider doing some research and selecting a few of these Historical Texas Cemeteries to visit.  Better yet, the next time you are traveling on a Texas backroad and see a sign that says CEMETERY with an arrow – take a view minutes and visit – if you are on the backroads you are not in that much of a hurry!

My walk through the cemetery was an acquaintance with local history……Christopher Wren

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