Texas Community Restores Historic Black Cemetery

More than a century after the Conroe Community Center was lost, the Conroe Community Cemetery Restoration Project has stepped in to help to restore it. For months, the group has worked to clean up the cemetery and restore it to its previous condition. On November 7, the project held a sign dedication cemetery to honor the history of the site.

“Each and every one of them were sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, siblings, neighbors and all of them had an influence on the community,” Conroe Community Cemetery Restoration Project President Jon Edens said.

Prior to the cemetery's restoration, it did not have an official name within the Conroe, Texas community. Previously, it went by names such as the Conroe Cemetery, the Community Cemetery or the No Name Cemetery. Now, it will be known as the Conroe Community Cemetery.

In the 1800s, the cemetery was used to bury formerly enslaved people. Later on, community leaders like Mittie J. Campbell, James Charles Pitts Sr. and Jacob F. Cozier were buried in the cemetery. Thus far, the Conroe Community Cemetery Restoration Project has found 38 marked graves and 111 unmarked graves.

“We’ve run cadaver dogs out here three times that have been known to find burials out here. We’ve run metal detectors and probes out here,” Conroe Community Cemetery Restoration Project Treasurer John Meredith said.

Moving forward, the surrounding community will continue to clean up the park and work to find possible unmarked grave sites. Through hard work, community members are proud of how far they have come.

“It’s pretty amazing because the first week you couldn’t even walk through here and now you can recognize the graves that are there,” Conroe, Texas community member Joyce Pierce said.

Photo: Getty Images

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