|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Southend Cemetery Association is appealing to the community for help in funding the cost of preserving an historic Huntsville's cemetery, the resting place of generations of the residents of a vanished black neighborhood known as The Flat.
The cemetery is located off Montgomery Road, just a few blocks from Sam Houston State University on land deeded to the Pine Grove Cemetery Association in 1920. Over time, the Pine Grove Cemetery became known as Southend Cemetery, said Dr. Marilyn Byrd, interim president of the cemetery association.
The cemetery association is working now to have Southend Cemetery designated as an historic Texas cemetery to preserve the culture and heritage of the black community in Huntsville, she said.
Southend Cemetery is the last link to the black neighborhood known as The Flat, one of the largest black neighborhoods in Huntsville until the mid 1970s, Byrd said.
"When SHSU began expanding, that neighborhood was eliminated, and the cemetery is all that remains," Byrd said. "Like all cemeteries, Southend Cemetery represents a vital resource for descendants who are researching their family's history."
The area surrounding Southend Cemetery was once deeply wooded, and the cemetery could only be accessed by way of a very narrow dirt road. The narrow dirt road is now an extension of Montgomery Road, "which places the cemetery in a highly visible, high profile portion of the city," she said.
Families of those buried there and others with an interest in the cemetery have been maintaining the property for many years. In 1998, a group of 20 concerned about the condition and car of the cemetery organized the Southend Cemetery Association. Membership dues were the primary source for funding maintenance until membership declined as members either passed away or moved from the area. The cemetery association now needs funds to maintain the cemetery property.
Byrd is asking for anyone who has relatives or friends buried at Southend Cemetery to make a contribution for the upkeep and maintenance of the property.
Individual and family cemetery plots are also available for purchase. Byrd can be contacted at (936) 295-2071 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Donations can be sent to Southend Cemetery Association, P. O. Box 924, Huntsville, Texas 77342-0924.
Taken from the Huntsville Itemonline...29 March 2011..