One of over 200 historical markers on the island, this marker is located at Galveston’s first African American cemetery. The marker was erected in 2007 by the Texas Historical Commission.
“Galveston’s first African American cemetery
“Site donated to Galveston Historical Foundation
by John and Judy Saracco, 2006”
“Listed as a historical burial ground by the Texas Historical Commission”
“On January 30, 1911, a group of African American Galvestonians formed the Rosewood Cemetery Association. The citizens purchased more than eight acres from the Joe Levy family near the beach, just west of the termination of Seawall Boulevard. Prior to the establishment of Rosewood Cemetery, African American citizens were prevented from interring their dead in most of the city’s cemeteries. Individuals, churches, and organizations, such as the Norris Wright Cuney Lodge no. 63 of The Colored Knights of Pythias, purchased shares in the association. Association minutes indicate that individual plots were sold for $10 each, with an additional $2 grave digging charge; plots for the burial of children cost $6.50. The first interment was that of Robert Bailey, an infant who died on February 1, 1912. The cemetery was utilized into the 1940’s, although most of the identified burials date from 1914 and 1915. The last known burial occurred in June 1944, when Frank Boyer was interred. In 1951, the City of Galveston began acquiring undeveloped portions of the cemetery for the extension of the Seawall west of 61st street. This construction blocked the natural outlet of Greens Bayou and created flooding in the cemetery and may have contributed to a reduction in its use. Beginning in the late 1950’s, the land on which the cemetery sat was gradually sold to developers, and by the 1990’s Rosewood had disappeared from many city maps. In 2006, just over one acre of the original cemetery property was donated to the Galveston Historical Foundation, in an effort to preserve what was left of this important site.”
“Historic Texas Cemetery – 2004”