Community trying to find history behind abandoned cemetery - WNEM TV 5

Community trying to find history behind abandoned cemetery

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A cemetery in Golden has been abandoned. (KLTV Staff) A cemetery in Golden has been abandoned. (KLTV Staff)
A WWI veteran is buried in this cemetery. (Source: KLTV Staff) A WWI veteran is buried in this cemetery. (Source: KLTV Staff)

An East Texas town is trying to find out the history behind an old abandoned cemetery that sits at the edge of a lake. Several members of the community have spent years researching the cemetery, though none of them knew anyone else was also looking into it. Each say they've come up with very few answers about the cemetery.

“You'd almost have to know it was here to even see it,” Sandy Thompson, a resident in Golden, said.

Buried between new houses, behind a mangled fence and thick brush, lie the remnants of a cemetery.

“There's our flag,” Thompson points. “See the flag?”

For the last decade Thompson has come to the cemetery every Memorial Day to lay a flag next to a World War One veteran's grave.

“Well, I saw mother on the tombstone and I got interested in our veteran down here that nobody was paying attention to,” Thompson explained.

She and her siblings used to walk by the cemetery decades ago.

“I lost the cemetery after the lake came in and the housing addition and everything came in and I didn't have a clue where the cemetery was,” she said.

Years went by before she re-discovered it in shambles. She spent nearly five years researching and hoping someone would help save the cemetery. Across town another woman, who used to live nearby, was doing the same thing.

“We realized that there was a cemetery over there,” Betty Carr, who spent several years near the cemetery, said. “We heard them one day singing and the singing was beautiful, it really was.”

Carr said her father owned the land from about 1950 to 1960 before selling it to the county to build Lake Holbrook.

“I always wanted it to be respected and kept there because that's been a long, long time ago,” Carr said.

The cemetery is known to locals as the Golden Black Cemetery, but an employee at the Wood County Tax Office said it is listed as Cemetery Cardwell. He, too, had spent years collecting information on the forgotten cemetery, but gave up.

“My hope is that this will get cleaned up. I was hoping that maybe we could get a work crew down here,” Thompson said.

The last burial at that cemetery happened around 1958 according to locals and the latest headstone. The Wood County Appraisal District lists the owner only as Cemetery Cardwell.

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