Hello and welcome to our blog. My name is Suzanne Tucker McAlpin and I am the President of the Pond Springs Historical Cemetery Association, Inc.
Pond Springs Cemetery is an award-winning historical cemetery located in Northwest Austin, Texas. The first known burial on the land was that of 6-month-old Jacob Leonce Glenn. He was buried in the Walden Section of Pond Springs Cemetery in October 1860. In 1862, Asenath Stewart was the first known burial in Pond Springs “proper”. There are 231 known/assumed graves, and there are perhaps 300 or more total, as there are numerous graves without markers, and death certificates without corresponding graves.
As is the case with so many old cemeteries in Texas, this one was doing a very good job at re-foresting. There was damage from roaming cattle, from the elements, and from downright vandalism and neglect. Many people have worked on this cemetery through the decades. Personally, I have been working on this cemetery off and on since 2005. By 2005, there wasn’t much left, and we have had to put the place back together like a gigantic puzzle. It’ll probably be a lifelong project. The county, the city, and the state are all “hiding” behind the wording in the original 1872 deed, and will not claim responsibility for upkeep. No one takes care of it but us few volunteers. Those interred here were good people, and they deserve better.
As an amateur genealogist, the condition of the place just broke my heart, and though I am not a descendant of anyone buried here, I decided in 2005 to use my time and (pitiful) talents to try to tell their stories electronically. I am in no way a professional. In 2009, Buster added his time and talents to TOTALLY clean up our cemetery single-handedly. And in 2011, a few heroic descendants teamed with us to form our Association. We meet every 6 months – April and October – on the first Sunday of the month, during our “Clean Up Days” right there at the cemetery. You do not have to be a member to attend a meeting OR to help clean up.
Now surrounded by the growth of Austin and Cedar Park, stepping into this cemetery is like stepping back in time, and stepping away from the hectic pace of modern-day life. It’s a good place to “reconnect” and clear your head.
In the spirit of a Benjamin Franklin quote,
“One can tell the morals of their culture by the way they treat their dead”:
1 BE CAREFUL. Pond Springs Historical Cemetery Association, Inc., is in no way responsible or liable for any injuries obtained on the property.
2 Respect the headstones and foot stones. They are historical documentation, and for a lot of people buried there, they are the only proof that they were ever born.
3 Respect the flora, fauna, and wildlife on the property.
4 No camping.
5 No trespassing after dark.
6 No open flames. This includes, but is not limited to, candles and cigarettes.
7 No alcohol. Whether it is in an open container or not.
8 Whatever it is, “If you brought it in, you take it out”.
9 No chalking, foaming, rubbing of the stones. Or any other means of capturing its info and charm, other than photography. Photography only.
10 Legaleeze: In the State of Texas, all cemeteries are protected under Criminal Mischief, Penal Code 28.03, which states:
“An offense under this section is a state jail felony if the damage or destruction is inflicted on a place of worship or human burial, a public monument, or a community center that provides medical, social, or educational programs and the amount of the pecuniary loss to real property or to tangible personal property is less than $20,000.” (visit http://www.thc.state.tx.us/cemeteries/cemWord/CemeteryDesecretionWhitePaper.doc). And we will prosecute.
If you are a descendant of anyone buried here, we’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment, a memory of your relative, a photo of them, anything, it would truly be a treasure.
If you’d like to join our Association, please contact this blog. The dues are $25 annually, and are tax-deductible. Please visit our link “How to Donate: Membership Fees and Other Ways to Help” on the menu to the right.