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San Marcos Cemetery officials to honor history

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Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia Editor
San Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14

The history of those buried in the San Marcos Cemetery will be celebrated at Tales and Tours.

The event will take place Oct. 17 and be hosted by Friends at the San Marcos Cemetery and the San Marcos Heritage Association.

Shannon Fitzpatrick, member of Friends of the San Marcos Cemetery, said Tales and Tours is a fundraising event intended to teach visitors about the San Marcos Cemetery. The 45-minute tours will be given Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m..

Fitzpatrick said Ernest Cummings, the inventor of the bulldozer, and “Tex” Hughson, a player for the Boston Red Sox, are among those buried who will be highlighted during the tours this year.

 Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia EditorSan Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14
Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia Editor
San Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14

A stone carver from Austin will demonstrate 100 year-old head-stone carving methods during the tours, she said.

During the tours, four Texas State theatre students will take on the characters of the dead and speak in first-person to share their stories with visitors, she said.

Kama Davis, vice president of Friends of the San Marcos Cemetery, said the tours will make attendees feel like they have traveled back in time.

Fitzpatrick said she wants to teach visitors about the history of the cemetery’s land—which used to be owned by Native Americans—during the event.

Davis said African Americans owned the cemetery early in its history, but sold it in the late 1800s to the Association of Cemeteries in San Marcos. After the land was sold, the association banned the burial of African Americans in the cemetery.

 Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia EditorSan Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14
Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia Editor
San Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14

The cemetery was desegregated in the 1960s when the city of San Marcos purchased the land.

“That’s history that you don’t want to cover up,” Davis said. “That’s history that you don’t want to misrepresent. It’s extremely important that we know our roots.”

Fitzpatrick said the primary fundraising event in the early 2000s of the two organizations was a 5K run through the cemetery. However, officials of the groups decided it would be better to raise money through the tours so they could educate citizens about the cemetery’s history and the people buried in it.

Davis said the funds raised by the tours will go toward the beautification of the cemetery, including removing tree moss, installing bathroom facilities and plaques on unmarked graves.

“We’ve put up signage, plaques and planted trees and spent maybe tens of thousands of dollars just trying to remove the moss from the trees to keep them healthy,” Fitzpatrick said. “We hope that by our fundraising efforts, we can enhance the way a certain section looks, add some landscape and add headstones.”

 Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia EditorSan Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14
Photo by: Preslie Cox | Multimedia Editor
San Marcos Cemetery Oct. 14

Davis said without the fundraising events like Tales and Tours, San Marcos Cemetery officials would not be able to raise awareness and keep citizens from forgetting its history.

“It’s not just about keeping the trees healthy and planting things, it’s about keeping the history,” Davis said.

Fitzpatrick said she hopes visitors will enjoy the organizations’ effort to keep history alive.

“We stand on the shoulders of those that came before us,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day lives, but we forget how critical these folks were who came before us.”