Archiver > LA-CEMETERY-PRESERVATION > 2010-01 > 1264351960

From: Louisiana Cemeteries <>
Subject: [LA-CEMETERY-PRESERVATION] Calvary Cemetery No. 2, Hopewell Cemetery,Pickens Cemetery, Mansfield Rd. Cemetery, Fairfield Cemetery,Carver Cemetery, Teacle Cemetery, Jordan Cemetery, Arnett Cemetery,
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 08:52:40 -0800 (PST)

Hidden graveyard surprises - by John Andrew Prime
January 23, 2010
Cemeteries noted in this article:
Calvary Cemetery No. 2, Hopewell Cemetery, Pickens Cemetery, Mansfield Rd. Cemetery, Fairfield Cemetery, Carver Cemetery, Teacle Cemetery, Jordan Cemetery, Arnett Cemetery,

Relics of pioneer past pop up in odd places

By John Andrew Prime

Urban archaeologists trying to improve Shreveport's Red River vantage have stumbled upon interesting traces of the city's past.Last
fall, members of a Better Shreveport, which hopes to create walks and
historic pathways through greenways, walked through a heavily wooded
area west of the Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway and literally stumbled on
crypts and masses of moldering and broken tombstones. The stone
sentinels are scattered along gullies in a hilly area historically part
of Coates Bluff."It's
all the way up the hill and down the other side," Jameel Damlouji,
president of the Northwes Louisiana Archaeological Society, said after
a recent strenuous trek through the site. He is president of the local
business Supply America and coordinates with A Better Shreveport.
"We're walking through depression after depression after depression,
each likely a grave. They're everywhere."The
cemetery fills the woods nestled between E.B. Williams Stoner Hill
Elementary Lab School and Caddo Parish Magnet High School."It
is part of a larger complex of an older settlement, even older than
Shreveport," said Gary Joiner, a cartographer and historian who is
familiar with the property. "That cemetery sits on top of a bank that
goes down to an old steamboat landing. My guess is that in addition to
the graves that are marked, there are likely slave graves there that
are unmarked."According
to records at the Caddo Assessor's Office, the tract belongs to Caddo
Parish Schools and has been called Calvary Cemetery No. 2 and Hopewell
Cemetery. City directories from 1925 through the 1950s list the
cemetery and its known burials date from 1898 to 1959.A
history published by the Ark-La-Tex Genealogical Association says the
cemetery began as a one-acre purchase by the Hopewell Baptist Church,
then expanded over the years to more than two acres split into three
sections. It was part of a 23-acre tract purchased by Caddo schools in
1949.Caddo schools
Superintendent Gerald Dawkins, who said he's relatively new to the area
and isn't personally familiar with the Hopewell Cemetery, said the
system started an inventory on its properties in December and hopes to
have it ready by the summer."We plan to assess everything, whether it's empty land or vacant buildings, and certainly the occupied buildings," he said.As
a known cemetery that shows on maps and has known burials, the Hopewell
Cemetery is protected by statute, but Dawkins said he knows of no plans
for the site."We
have property, and empty buildings, across the parish," he said.
"That's the reason we are assessing and hope to get a handle on what we
own, to make sure when we have plans we can consider all the variables."Jessie
Lafitte, now 73, lives just feet from the north side of the cemetery,
where a tombstone propped against a tree is visible to students at
Caddo Magnet High, visitors to Valencia Park and people driving by.She's
lived in the Stoner Hill neighborhood all her life and recalls burials
there "from when I was a little girl." She also recalls burials
happening there as late as the 1950s.While
Hopewell Cemetery may be the largest and best-hidden old cemetery, it
is not alone. An old graveyard called the Pickens Cemetery occupies a
parcel about the size of a large garage just yards from an unrelated
church and a senior citizens complex in the 7400 block of St. Vincent
Avenue, in the shadow of I-49. Another small cemetery sits astride the
parking lot of the Military Entrance Processing Center on Mansfield
cemeteries are abandoned, with all the graves that can be located moved
to new locations. Fairfield Cemetery once occupied a corner of the
intersection of Linwood and Hollywood avenues. It was sold to make way
for a gas station and its graves were moved to the Carver Cemetery."Supposedly
there was once one on Fairfield at Dashiel, and one at Fairfield and
Boulevard Street, a vacant lot now," social historian and author Eric
J. Brock said. "Nothing was ever built there and this may explain why,
but I don't know for sure. And there was one on Fairfield near Jordan
someplace, the graves of which were supposedly moved to Greenwood in
the 1890s or so when Jordan was extended."Brock said the Teacle Cemetery in south Shreveport was moved in the early 1980s to make way for the Inner Loop."It
was located near where the Loop crosses Kingston Road today and the
graves were moved to Forest Park. The Jordan Cemetery on Kings Highway
where Bell Street once crossed was moved in the 1950s and the Walpole
family burial ground at Monrovia and Thornhill was moved early in the
20th century. The Arnett Cemetery was located someplace in the vicinity
of Elizabeth Street and Margaret Place but it disappeared during the
development of that area in the late 19th century."Numerous
others were scattered around town "in what had once been rural areas
vanished as the city grew and their locations became urbanized. We know
of some graves moved to Greenwood, others to Forest Park and others
elsewhere, but the whereabouts of the graves from the great majority of
the known burial grounds and private cemeteries which once existed in
and around Shreveport are unknown today altogether."Joiner
said these lost cemeteries "often are small and the families of the
people buried in them are usually long gone, so they are not
maintained. There might have been a church, and now the church is gone."That
happened with the Stonewall Baptist Church in Bossier City. The
original cemetery was moved when Barksdale Air Force Base was created,
and now its cemetery lies virtually overgrown in south Bossier Parish."Timber
companies buy tracts and plant trees, and that's it," Joiner said.
"There's quite a few cemeteries in the Kisatchie National Forest.
There's probably some in the East Reservation of Barksdale. It's a
common problem, not just here but all over the place. The best thing is
to do our level best to protect the graves and honor the people who are
advice to the Caddo School Board is to give the cemetery to another
government entity, Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation."That
would protect it," he said. "Deeding it to SPAR would be a fine idea.
SPAR is very good about protecting things. They're probably the best
public stewards in this region."

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