Environment

Landmark Commission to Consider Designating "Endangered" Cemetery

As we discovered last month, the city of Dallas can't even take care of the downtown cemetery in which several former mayors are buried (including John Crockett, who served during the Civil War). So how's it going to tend to an abandoned graveyard buried beneath weeds in a field south of town (at 33 Haymarket Road, if you're in need of weekend-wandering plans)? That's long been the question posed by Preservation Dallas, which, in 2007, placed the Haymarket Cemetery on its Most Endangered List, along with the Alamo Plaza Courts Motel, David Crockett School, the since-torn-down McKinney Avenue Baptist and Deep Ellum.

Says the item about the cemetery:

Haymarket Cemetery is a large, overgrown burial site formerly associated with an African American church (Missionary Baptist Church). The oldest legible marked grave is dated 1902 with the most recent grave dated 1943. The church associated with the cemetery moved in the 1940s. When the area was annexed to the City of Dallas in 1978, sand and gravel mining was taking place adjacent to the cemetery. Neighbors at that time reported that the road used by the dump trucks ran over a number of graves. The size and the number of graves is currently unknown. Today, with no steward for the cemetery and increased development pressure within the immediate area, this cemetery is endangered by further neglect and redevelopment. City historic landmark designation would bring attention and added protection to the site.
Reason I bring it up: I see that at its meeting scheduled for Monday, the Landmark Commission will consider initiating historic designation proceedings. Randy Carlisle, who took the photos for Preservation Dallas, offers more here -- along with the note that a few years ago, he could only find two grave markers beneath "the weeds and vines." One was for Ada Burelson; the other, Tom Stinnies Jr., who served in the Air Force during World War II.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky