Oleander CemeteryUndated plan of Subdivision of West One-Half of Oleander Cemetery (left). (City of Galveston Planning Department Map Archives). United States Department of the Interior National Park Service / National Register of Historic Places © All Rights Reserved
Excerpt from a 2014 National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form:
“Originally designated as a pauper’s burial ground in 1839, little documentation of the historic layout of the Potter’s Field Cemetery exists prior to 1935. A 1935 map illustrates a grid imposed upon existing burial plots. This map was likely prepared as part of an effort to renovate and expand the existing city burial grounds, an effort that resulted in the creation of Oleander Cemetery. A 1939 City Ordinance formally establishes Oleander Cemetery by adopting the plat map and outlining rules and regulations related to the design and management of burial plots within the complex14. Landscaping requirements are outlined within this ordinance and prohibit the planting of trees, palms, oleanders or large bushes of any type within the cemetery, although small plants were permitted to be planted at the headstone. The landscaping of the cemetery was relegated to the City of Galveston. The original Hebrew Cemetery is located in the southeast corner of Potter’s Field and contains burials dating from the 1850s. The portion of 42nd Street that originally transected the cemetery complex was closed ca. 1921 and incorporated into the available area for burial of the then Potter’s Field.
A later, but undated, map further subdivides the burial plots in this section and defines a series of sections from north to south (Sections L through S). The current configuration of the Oleander Cemetery closely resembles this layout. A gate is located at the northeast corner to Broadway Avenue. North to south and minor east to west concrete walkways are noted as 6’-0” wide and major east to west walkways are 8’-0” wide. A diagonal walkway at the center of the cemetery divides the east and west sections of this cemetery. A bronze Works Progress Administration (WPA) marker is located along this walk inscribed with the dates, 1938-1939. It is likely the reconfiguration of the Potter’s Field Cemetery was conducted as part of a WPA project. The WPA was active in Texas from 1935 until 1942.”
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 2013, P. 13: (https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/NR/pdfs/14000340/14000340.pdf)
Oleander Cemetery Walkway
Project originally submitted by Eveline Evans on November 28, 2018.
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