4 years ago
A cemetery association was established by members of the two churches in
1867, but the association disbanded about 30 years ago, and the churches took
over management and maintenance of the cemetery.
Through the years, the
association’s records have been lost, so there is no list of members or lot
holders. The churches maintain that, because they are not the legal owners of
the cemetery, the responsibility for maintaining a neglected or abandoned
cemetery lies with the borough.
“I wish we were never in the cemetery business, but we are.”
One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not
expect a religious funeral at their death.
Forestalling of religious rites of passage, such as marriage, and the lowering
expectations on religious funeral services, could have long lasting consequences
for religious institutions.
The cemetery's owners want to expand, developing 35.6 acres of conservation
land to provide burial space, mausoleums and cremation sites. But to do that,
they must obtain the approval of the state Land Use Commission to rezone 56.5
acres of conservation land to urban use, because cemeteries are not allowed on
The first objective of the project is to build upon existing Geographic
Information Systems data to create a model cemetery-interpretation program for
the Oak Grove and Zion Hill cemeteries in Nacogdoches. Once established,
genealogy researchers and heritage tourists may access the program online to
learn about the historic cemeteries and the people buried in them.