Cemeteries, A Tangible Link to History

By Teresa Holloway
Messenger Reporter
PALESTINE – Since the dawn of time, humans have interred their dead with honor and dignity. From constructing entire pyramids to laying out simple rock cairns and driftwood crosses, people have recognized a burial site as a tangible link to an otherwise ephemeral past.
In more modern times, the Texas Historical Commission and its county subsets also understand the significance of an interrment site.
Jennifer McWilliams, the Cemetery Preservation Program Coordinator with the THC, will visit Palestine on Oct. 8. In her position with THC, McWilliams handles just about all things ‘cemetery’ and will share her extensive knowledge with interested members of the public.
The event will be held at the Palestine Civic Center on West Spring Street beginning at noon.
A main point, recording the burials in cemeteries, has a formerly overlooked importance. Many of the grave markers contain information not found in other historic documents. Recording the information has become a priority push for the organization.
McWilliams expertise in the research and validation of grave site data is well-known in the historic preservation circles.
As the Cemetery Preservation Program Coordinator, McWilliams also manages the Historic Texas Cemetery designation program and the THC’s online “Historic Sites Atlas”.
The Anderson County Historical Commission will host the meeting and invites all Anderson County citizens who are interested in the historic link from past to present or maintaining, researching or recording the crucial information.
For more information, contact the Palestine City Hall offices or call 832-262-7470.
terholloway@hotmail.com