Cemeteries might be known as the spooky place where ghosts and ghouls hang out on the last day of October, but moreso they stand among the most valuable of our historic resources. They are reminders of settlement patterns that reveal information about historic events, religions, lifestyles, and genealogy. To boot, there is at least one historic cemetery in every county in Texas!
Get your hands on the new guide to cemetery preservation published by the Texas Historical Commission (THC). The colorful manual discusses cemetery conservation and repair, maintenance, cemetery law, how to get a Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) designation, and the THC’s RIP Guardian Network (which stands for Record, Investigate, Protect).
The THC is committed to preserving historic cemeteries through services offered by the Cemetery Preservation Program. Established in 1998, the Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) designation addresses the problem of cemetery destruction by recording graveyards in the county records. The designation has recognized nearly 1,600 historic cemeteries in 254 Texas counties. The RIP Guardian network is a statewide connection of cemetery preservation volunteers dedicated to protecting historic burial grounds. Together the services help preserve the real places of Texas’ past.
Whether it’s Halloween or not, explore the historic cemeteries in your community and learn how you can help preserve these hauntingly beautiful places.