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We are not a club or organization.. we're quite simply a group of concerned citizens who care about what happens to the cemeteries in the county. We're not only here to clean the cemeteries, but also to educate people about historical significance and encourage them to form cemetery associations. Also we're here to help existing associations to become stronger and more actively involved in their cemeteries. I've received information on obtaining non-profit status and also guides to forming cemetery associations from the Texas Historical Commission and we're making use of it all already.
We had our first meeting on the 26th and had about 20 people show up. I was really impressed with everyone's enthusiasm and we had our first cleanup at the Ft. Houston cemetery the Saturday following the meeting (the 28th) with about 25 people attending. Due to the weather, we were unable to finish so we've scheduled a "Part II" to be held on Saturday June 11th. This will begin at 7:30 a.m. to try to beat some of the heat of the day (I won't be there that day but was there on the initial cleanup day. I'll be at the ETGS meeting in Tyler that day) I've attached a photo of some of the people who participated in the first cleanup day.
We also had a visit from Gerron Hite from the Texas Historical Commission. He and Diane Williams, also from THC, came down on the request of Dr. Carolyn Salter and the Palestine Landmark Commission to see if our city cemeteries might qualify for national landmark status. Both Mr. Hite and Ms. Williams suggested the way to start would be to form a "master plan" and then proceed from there, so that is the way we're planning on going. The county recently approved a bond issue to enlarge the county jail, which sits almost dead center in the cemeteries. We are going to be working on having an easement or something like it to be added around the jail so the views from the cemeteries won't be of razor wire. Anyway.. more about this later as it develops, if you are interested.