Gravestones Houston: Allen’s Landing is the spot where the city founders set foot on the land that would become Houston. Allen’s Landing was the Port in 1840 and for several years was the middle of trade in town. The site fell into decline through the twentieth century, but is currently finding new life as link in the system of parks being developed on Buffalo Bayou’s banks.
When Beth Israel burial site was established in 1844, Houston was still a frontier village — in fact, the cemetery was set well out of the city. Over the years Houston has grown around Beth Israel. It is Texas’ oldest Jewish cemetery, and by looking at the epitaphs of the early burials one can see that there had been a large number of Jewish immigrants coming from different places in Europe, such as Poland, Holland, Prussia, Bohemia and Alsace. Hebrew as well as German inscriptions were common.Over the years, many famous people have lived and died in Houston, including presidents, sports legends and movie stars. There is even the Historic Hollywood cemetery in Houston, but contrary to popular belief it was named after the people who founded it and not the location in Los Angeles. Still, quite a few celebrities are buried here, including the inventor of the ice cream cone, Andrew George Simmons.A list of cemeteries in Houston includes:
Congregation Beth Israel Cemetery
Houston National Cemetery
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Historic Hollywood Cemetery
Woodlawn Funeral Home and Cemetery
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery can be found on the banks of Brays Bayou in a beautiful setting. Its first recorded burial was in 1921, and the cemetery was officially organised one year later. The cemetery has grown from its original 49 acres to 255 acres and contains many unique headstone designs.
Forest Park East Cemetery was founded in 1951. Amongst others, Andrea Yates’s five young children are buried on this cemetery, who were drowned by her in 2001.
Olivewood Cemetery was established in 1875, but the land had been used for slave burials before. It was the first African-American cemetery within the Houston city limits. The last burials took place in the 1960s. After that, the cemetery slowly became abandoned and neglected. Now a nonprofit organisation, called the “Descendants of Olivewood” looks after it to protect its historical significance. Olivewood was also designated a Historic Texas Cemetery.
In Texas, the Texas Historical helps protect and preserve historic cemeteries. In 1998, the first HTC designation was recorded. This way, cemeteries are recorded and the problem of neglect, abandonment and destruction addressed. Historic cemeteries remind us of our past and our ancestors – where they came from, where they settled, how they lived and what religion they belonged to. Nowadays many historic cemeteries are threatened because the cities are growing. Vandalism and theft are also major issues. More than 1600 historic cemeteries have been recorded and designated as Historic Texas Cemeteries so far.
To be eligible for the HTC designation, a cemetery must be at least 50 years old and have historical associations – such as being a landmark of a family’s or community’s presence. Once the designation is granted, location and boundaries are recorded so that present landowners are aware of the historical significance of the land.
Gravestones Houston and Monuments
Gravestones Houston generally fulfil two purposes: firstly, they mark the spot where someone is buried (grave markers) and secondly, they serve as a memorial to remember a person (or in some cases, a whole family on bigger monuments). Often a memorial depicts the days of birth and death, a short verse or a picture. Measurements and other requirements for gravestones differ from place to place and depend on the overall picture / landscaping of the cemetery.
Another way of burying our loved ones are tree burials. Here no personal objects or monuments are allowed. In contrast, a unique monument serves as a space where people can grieve and remember their loved ones. Flowers, candles and other items can be left on the grave or in containers installed on the base of a gravestone.
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