Lifestyles
Union Cemetery to receive official Texas Historical Marker
By media release
May 26, 2019
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Ravenna, Texas -- The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Union Cemetery as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical  Marker.  The designation honors Union Cemetery as an important and educational part of local history. 

A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be held 3:00 p.m. May 26, 2019 at Union Cemetery, approximately four miles north of  Ravenna, Texas. Speakers for the afternoon will include Vera Ross, former resident of the community, Gregory Hall, local historian as well as representatives from state and federal offices. The Fannin County Historical Commission welcomes the public to share in and witness this exciting historical event.

“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC.  “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history.  This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said.

photo by Vicky Maclean

A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: historical significance and age.  Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history, and the age requirement depends on the topic.  The THC’s Official Texas Marker Policies are outlined in the Official Texas Historical Marker Procedures, which may be obtained by contacting the History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission, at 512/463-5853 or visiting the web site at www.thc.state.tx.us.

Union Cemetery dates back to the earliest grave in 1861 being that of a black slave from the Smith Plantation.  The earliest documented grave is 1881 which is that of Harriett Pool.  There are many veterans buried at the cemetery including veterans of World War I, World War II, Viet Nam and Korean. These veterans are honored with their service to our country.

The cemetery was first known as Siloam Cemetery where there was also the Siloam Church located at the property.  The cemetery is still in use today and is maintained through donations.  The  main fundraising is the May day celebration on first Sunday in May with a barbecue.

Union Cemetery obtained the Texas Historical Cemetery Designation  in 2017. Once approved as Historical Cemetery,  the Historical Marker application was submitted and approved this year.  The community is honored to have the cemetery designated as a Historical Cemetery.

“It is vital that as we move forward, we do not forget our past.  Not only will the Texas Historical Marker provide awareness in the community of our fascinating history, but it will become a building block for the promotion of local tourism,” said  Dennis White, President of Union Cemetery Association.

There are three types of Texas Historical Markers.  Subject markers are posted solely for public education awareness and awarded more frequently than the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures and comes with a measure of protection.  Unlike subject markers, the RTHL must also meet a third criterion--architectural integrity. Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) markers identify cemeteries which have obtained the HTC designation and whose histories have been researched in detail.

Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers.  Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 300 marker applications each year. 

The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation.  The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas.