Texas Cemetery Receives Historic Designation

Sweet Rest Cemetery is located in Tamina, Texas. In May of 2021, the cemetery was officially designated as a historic place by the State of Texas.

Tamina’s history can be traced back to R.B. Smith, an educator from the city of Montgomery, John Nailor, a Houston-area businessman. In 1871, freed slaves moved to Tamina to help build the railroad. The Tamina Sweet Rest Cemetery is currently entombed with slaves, native Americans, World War I, II, and Vietnam veterans along with other war heroes and law enforcement officers.

In October of 2020, Community Impact Newspaper reported that the Texas Historical Commission was in the process of declaring the location historic. Unfortunately, no further work could be done on the cemetery in the meantime.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Tamina’s Sweet Rest Cemetery is the final resting place of around 200 bodies. The Tamina Cemetery and Community Project CDC honor them each Memorial Day.

For the past ten years, Sweet Rest Cemetery has been in disrepair. Flooding in the cemetery has buried many of the gravestones. The next step is to drain the cemetery and start doing ground penetrating radar to figure out if any graves were missed in the most recent survey of the cemetery.

The Community Impact Newsletter also reported that the Historic Texas Cemetery designation program is separate from the Official Texas Historical Marker Program.

The Texas Historical Society Commission states says that the Historic Texas Cemetery designation is a prerequisite for a historical marker. The designation is not itself either an application or an approval for such a marker. A Historical Texas Cemetery must be at least 150 years old and deemed worthy of recognition due to its historical associations.

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