Welcome !


Donate Button

page visitor counter
who is online counter blog counter

Hello and welcome to our blog.  Pond Springs Historical Cemetery Association Inc. is a grass-roots effort to clean up our beloved acre, also known as “God’s Garden”.  If you have the need to be a hero, God’s Garden needs you !

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 died of a rattlesnake bite in October 1860, inflicted while his mother was distracted hanging laundry, (can you imagine?).  Jacob was buried in the Walden Section of Pond Springs Cemetery.  In 1862, Asenath Stewart was the first known burial in Pond Springs “proper”.  She died of a childbirth-related illness while her husband (Andrew Jackson (“AJ” or “Jack”) STEWART was a Private in Company D, 1st Texas Cavalry (Yager’s), CSA.  He died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 4 days after Lee surrendered to Grant.  The 1st Texas Cavalry was organized in New Orleans Louisiana on 6 November 1862, 4 days before his wife died.  Asenath likely kissed him good-bye and went into labor while he was en route.  AJ wasn’t there for her death, or for the birth of his son.  It’s unclear that he ever saw his son.  The orphaned baby lived, by the way, and was raised by his Stewart grandparents.

There are dozens of stories like this one.  God’s Garden needs heroes to help tell the stories.

There are over 230 known/assumed graves, and there are perhaps 300 or more total, as there are numerous graves without markers, and death certificates without corresponding graves.  Research is ongoing.

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, from downright vandalism, and from neglect.  Many people have worked on this cemetery through the decades.   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.  Please consider joining our grass-roots effort.  God’s Garden needs heroes.

In 2011, a few heroic descendants allied to form our Association.  Here is our meeting schedule:

Meetings held USUALLY on the Second Sunday at 10 am unless otherwise noted:

January at Whataburger across the street, Second Sunday at 10 am

April (Clean-Up Daze Second Sunday AND Second Saturday at cemetery)

July at Whataburger across the street, Second Sunday at 10 am

October (Clean-Up Daze Second Sunday AND Second Saturday at cemetery)

You do not have to be a member to attend a meeting OR to help clean up.  You don’t need permission to be an “Anonymous Angel” and clean up the place a little, just be careful and please don’t touch the stones in any way; that’s all we ask.

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.  We absolutely adore this place, warts and all, and invite everyone to join our grass-roots effort.

Visitors, please:

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.  No climbing on the stones, they may topple, stay clear of them.  There are also holes in the ground.  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 if anyone is ugly enough to destruct us, we will be ugly enough to prosecute, call the news, get free legal representation……

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 !

It costs lots of money to keep up this level of care.  If you’d like to join our Association, the dues are only $25 annually.  Or, if you simply wish to donate, you can.  We take anything that’s green paper !  We also take weed killer, fire ant killer, weed eater string, a gallon or two of water for the water barrel, etc.  Just leave it at the base of the historical marker and give us a call to pick it up.  We also LOVE good neighbors who call 911 if they see anything amiss.  To name the major things, we use the money primarily for gas money for the mowers, weed wacker string, mower maintenance and repair, paint, weed killer, fire ant killer, tree services, just a few office supplies, to replace/repair markers, and one or two “improvements” if there’s enough left over.

We are recognized by the IRS and the State of Texas.  To mail in a check, visit our link “How to Donate:  Membership Fees and Other Ways to Help” (on the menu to the right of this page).  Or, click the “Donate” button at the top of the page, which will direct you to (secure) PayPal.  We thank you in advance.  Take care and thanks for reading us.

– Suzanne Tucker Borum, President
– Pond Springs Historical Cemetery Association Inc.
– 737.781.0629

I would like to dedicate this blog to my awesomely wonderful Dad, 1923-2007, who STILL encourages me every day. Fish on Daddy, your “Motor-Mouth” will always love you !

Advertisements
Published in: on August 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm  Comments (11)  

Some Very Bad News

Hello everyone,

I have been given permission to post this, and after much thought and prayer, I have decided to do so.  Because I just feel it is the right thing to do, and I wouldn’t want to deny anyone their opportunity to receive a blessing.  If this offends anyone, I hope you can forgive me.

As you may or may not know, once upon a time, God’s Garden was basically a forest, until a man named Buster came and cleaned it up, 100%, single-handedly.  He helped me research the people buried there, and repaired their headstones.  No, he and I didn’t always agree, but when I rejoiced, so did he.  Buster gained great satisfaction in this, and asked for nothing in return.

Buster needs our help.  Buster has been diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the blood that makes tumors in the bones.  And dear ones, he has no insurance.  Buster’s 90-year-old mother, infirmed herself, relied on Buster for almost everything.  His sister is doing the best she can for both of them, while trying her best to hold down a full-time job.  Buster has applied for all the appropriate things (Medicare, etc), but help hasn’t arrived yet, and even when it does, it won’t cover everything.

I certainly am not advocating any sort of favoritism, I care for everyone that has anything to do with the cemetery.  Buster did get our cemetery some very positive recognition.  He started the mojo that we are trying to keep going.  There’s no denying that.  And since this is a website about Pond Springs Cemetery, I thought you wouldn’t mind me asking for help on his behalf.  Presently, ANYTHING helps, but the need is mostly financial.  It’s probably easiest to go to GoFundMe; a fund was set up in his mother’s name so as to not interfere with his benefits.  Here is the address:  https://www.gofundme.com/kh8rv3-12345.  They could also use help with lawn work (Buster did ALL that), rides to appointments (at least until hopefully The American Cancer Society kicks in), light housework, and just calling/email/dropping by to see if they’re OK.

If you can find it in your heart to help, please do so.  Reply to this post for more details if needed.  Thanks.

In our prayers,

 – Suzanne

Published in: on May 2, 2019 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Save the Dates ! April 2019 “Clean Up Daze”

Saturday & Sunday, April 13 & 14, 2019
Arrive anytime between sunrise and sunset (meeting is around 10 am both days)
Stay the entire time, or just stay a few hours.  Bring the family !  Bring Co-Workers !  Bring Church Family !

Please mark your calendars, we have 4 meetings per calendar year (second Sunday usually, 10 am):
January – Second Sunday Meeting @ 10 am, Whataburger
April – Meeting, at cemetery, plus Clean up WEEKEND (Saturday AND Sunday)
July – Second Sunday Meeting @ 10 am, Whataburger
October – Meeting, at cemetery, plus Clean up WEEKEND (Saturday AND Sunday)

General Agenda:  “Meeting First”
We will have a quick meeting on both days, around 10 am or so.

9dc71528-27fe-3c04-8dae-6343149416c6

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Volunteers:

  • There is no electricity or running water.
  • PSHCA cannot be responsible for damage done to equipment or persons.
  • Please bring as many supplies as you can.
  • Make sure all your equipment is in working condition before arrival.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toe shoes, goggles, gloves, face masks.
  • WATCH YOUR STEP.
  • BEWARE PILES OF LEAVES OR ROCKS, there might be “inhabitants” lurking there.
  • Bring Lawn Chairs and bring plenty of food/water.
  • Please bring 1 or 2 gallons of water for the water barrel.
  • Bring your camera !

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

0511-1010-2403-2231Trash Detail — clean up all the way to the street, all around the site
Please take the trash away with you

Supplies Needed (PSHCA has “some” if needed):

  • Contractor bags recommended, but others are just fine too
  • “Grabber” makes it easy on the back
    ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

0511-1104-0222-5061Lawn and Garden – This is What Takes Up Most/All of our Time
(Weeding, Limb Removal, Grass Cutting, Dusting the Fire Ants if needed, clearing fenceline of weeds)
Supplies Needed: (PSHCA has “some” if needed):

  • Do we want to take down that side fence?  If so, bring equipment for that
  • Fire Ant Killer
  • Agricultural Vinegar preferred, but Round-Up “Brush Killer” is OKish too
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):  Leather/Rubber Gloves, Face mask, Goggles
  • Wheelbarrows, Rakes, Shovels, Pitchforks, Saws, Pruners, Brooms, Paper Rubbish Bags, Plastic Trash Bags, Paper Towels/old newspapers/sandpaper/Painters Tape
  • Gasoline, Weed-eater String
  • Tools for quick repairs
  • Gas lawn equipment; again, there is no electricity.
  • Nuts for the squirrels ?
  • Water for the barrel, empty milk jugs to transport water from barrel
  • Fertilizer for what we’ve planted in the past.  We have roses, rosemary, lantana so far.  Is it too late to plant roses?
    ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

See you then !

– Suzanne

Published in: on February 15, 2019 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  

From the Artwork Department: Happy Holidays From Pond Springs !

Hi Everyone,

It is with humility that I tell you WEDNESDAY HAS OUTDONE HERSELF WITH A CHRISTMAS WREATH !  Please give her kudos by responding to this blog !  We are also on Facebook !

We cant thank you enough Wednesday, or your wonderful parents !  This is our future.

Everyone, have a safe and loving holiday !

– Suzanne

Published in: on December 2, 2018 at 5:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Love, Wednesday

Hi everyone, I’m just bursting at the seams about our Wednesday !  Here is a Thanksgiving wreath she made for the cemetery.  Her enthusiasm is an example for us all to follow.  Thank you Wednesday.

Published in: on November 4, 2018 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

$1 Guessing Game: The Boatright Tree: A “Witness Tree”

“The greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground.” – Unknown

The Boatright Tree is the most spectacular tree on our Beloved Acre.  It is an ancient Live Oak, in the front, behind John and Spencer Boatright’s markers, and is also used in our logo with the Henry Girls’ marker.  Our Boatright Tree has also been recognized by the City of Austin’s “Keep Austin Beautiful” campaign.

Other than those interred here, it is our item of most value. It’s truly a witness tree, having witnessed EVERYTHING that has happened in and around the site.  I’m guessing it has even shaded its share of Native Americans.

On October 6th 2018, we measured our beautiful and beloved Boatright Tree, to get a rough estimate of its age.  At roughly 5  feet up, the tree measured 129 inches around.

Using the webpage https://www.hunker.com/12542585/how-to-age-a-live-oak-tree, the age of the Boatright tree has been calculated.

Now, I was torn here……between telling its age, or having a Guessing Game and making a little money for the cemetery.  Of course, one can go the the webpage and try to calculate it, but it’s tricky…..

So for fun, and to see if anyone out there is actually reading these posts lol, I have decided to make “The Witness Tree Guessing Game”.  From now through 31 December 2018, it’s $1 a guess.  Guess the year it was planted as many times are you like.  Reply to this page with as many 1-year guesses as you like, I will keep a tally and make arrangements with you. Money goes to the cemetery, winner posted on 1 January 2019.  Good Luck !

– Suzanne

Wednesday and myself measuring the tree, with Saffron’s support (behind Wednesday).

129 inches ! WOW !

Published in: on October 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

October 2018 Clean Up Daze

Thanks to the Kollodge Family – Amanda, Wednesday, Saffron, & Trent – for showing up BOTH days !  Also, thanks to Jeff and Gloria, Mike and Diane, Carrie, Greg, Dave, Bill and Ken !

We were so busy working, we didn’t really have a chance to take many photos !  But here they are !  Enjoy !

Next Clean Up Daze Event will be April 13-14 2019.  Please consider helping us out, as together we work to protect and maintain this beautiful site.

– Suzanne

 

Wednesday Dousing SW Corner, while Dad Trent jotted down the coordinates. We found SEVEN unknowns right here.

 

As the Unknowns were found by dousing, and their coordinates noted, we sprayed the Unknown. Some are adult-sized, some are child/baby-sized. Here is #1.  We are still unsure exactly how we are going to mark these.

 

The Beck Memorial needed some TLC. Here is the Before picture.

 

The Before picture of the Becks.

 

Wednesday (gently) cleaning the stones. We use non-ionic soap and plain water. We use wooden tongue depressors and bamboo skewers to remove the difficult stuff. We need some natural-hair brushes.

 

Wednesday painting the Beck Memorial.

 

Voila ! All 5 are Beautiful !

 

The children are our future !  Folks, I cannot overstate how much appreciation I have for those that volunteer their time, talents, encouragement, and finances to help this fine grass-roots effort.  If we let it lapse, no doubt it will turn into an eyesore and/or a convenience store etc.  Thank you for doing your part to keep up the momentum as we protect, research, beautify.

– Suzanne

Published in: on October 13, 2018 at 11:41 am  Comments (2)  

For Asenath

Andrew Jackson Stewart enlisted 12 May 1861 in Company D 1st Texas Cavalry.  He was 6 ft tall, had light hair, fair complexion, and blue eyes.  I imagine he was handsome.  One of many war marriages, I don’t know when he married Asenath, or when he left his young bride to go off to war.  I imagine their parting was a sad one, and I wonder if she was pregnant at the time.  The only muster roll I have found for him is dated Jan/Feb 1864.  I am hoping other researchers can help out here.

What I do know is that their son, Andrew Jackson Stewart Jr, was born 30 October 1862.  And Asenath died 10 November 1862.  Miraculously, the baby lived; undoubtedly there was a nearby wet-nurse, I’m guessing she was even a family member, that helped save him.  I like to think the family was determined to give AJ a son to come home to.  Grandparents Laban and Nancy Stewart raised the baby.

Although there are likely more, Asenath is the first known burial in Pond Springs Cemetery “proper” (Jacob Leonce Glenn died in 1860 and is buried in the Walden Section of Pond Springs).

Separated in death, AJ died in Baton Rouge Louisiana 13 April 1865, and is buried there.  I assume he was allowed the chance to hold the baby, but given the nature of that war, this may not have been the case.

Their son was an orphan by age three.

Asenath’s old stone was replaced out of respect for her and the Stewart family.  It was crumbling, and in our attempts to keep it, out of respect, it was looking inadvertently disrespectful.  So after years of trying to decide, the decision was made to replace it.

The capstone from Asenath’s old marker has been retained, it is in 3 pieces and there is some barely-discernable engraving still on it.  As time allows, I plan to use techniques to determine what it says.  I don’t know what we are going to do with it, but it will not be disposed of.

Many thanks to the Association members who heeded the call and donated to their “cousin-in-need”.  The Association members are beyond compare in this, they always heed the call, any call, to help Pond Springs.  I bow in deep humility to them.

Pond Springs cannot thank Southwest Monuments enough for their assistance in this.  Always responsive, respectful, and helpful right away, this simply could not have been done without their behind-the-scenes advice, assistance, cooperation, understanding, and big hearts.

Asenath, it is my hope that we did you a service.

– Suzanne

Published in: on August 10, 2018 at 11:34 am  Comments (2)  

Add One More: Lilly D. PREECE

Much thanks the Ancestry contributor who uploaded Lilly’s 31 January 1901 obituary, which states that she was buried in Walden Cemetery.  As no stone exists, no death certificate, no Find-A-Grave entry, and no known word-of-mouth, she had been lost to the ages.

Lilly was 15 years old at the time of her death.  She was born December 1885 and died I believe 24 January 1901.  She was the daughter of Franklin Pierce and Mary Jane Amanda Jones Preece.

I will add her name to Find-A-Grave, and to our “Too Beautiful for the Earth, the Children of Pond Springs Cemetery” memorial.  This brings our number of known persons to 244.

– Suzanne

Austin American Statesman, 31 January 1901

Franklin Pierce Preece family I believe ca 1900. He was a widower by then. On lap was son John F Preece.  I believe Lilly D. Preece is Front row Left.

Published in: on August 9, 2018 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Quarterly Meeting: Save the Date !

Hello everyone,

In addition to the next meeting, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell everyone that ASENATH STEWART’S NEW MARKER WILL BE INSTALLED FRIDAY 15 JUNE 2018 AT 9 AM.  ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND.  I WILL BE  TAKING PHOTOS.  This has been over a decade in the making.

  • Our next quarterly meeting will be:
  • Sunday, 22 July 2018 (DATE CHANGE DUE TO VACATIONS 🙂
  • 10 am
  • Whataburger 13201 Ranch Rd 620 N, Austin, TX 78717 (across the street from the cemetery)

Rough agenda:

  • Treasury Report
  • Status of Projects
  • Status of Current Year’s Goals
  • Excellent Fellowship
  • Around-the Table
  • Appreciation to Firehouse 34 (who can make, bake, and take ?)  Trust me, they LOVE EVERYTHING we bring 🙂  Usually it’s cookies/brownies; this time I was thinking perhaps my Ken’s famous home-made spaghetti and “gravy”, what can others bring?  Salad?  Breadsticks?  Dessert?  Just a thought 😉
  • “Maybe” a brief tour/scan of the cemetery, including stone schedule:
    • Stone Review Due Jan-Mar, Even-Numbered Years (2018, 2020):  SW Corner (31 Stones), Adams through Zimmerman
    • Stone Review Due Apr-June Even-Numbered Years (2018, 2020):  NW Corner (33 Stones), Barnett through the Stewarts
    • Stone Review Due Jan-Mar, Odd-Numbered Years (2019, 2021):  SE Corner (47 Stones), Beck through Warren
    • Stone Review Due Apr-June Odd-Numbered Years (2019, 2021):  NE Corner (29 Stones), Bingham through Woody

Hope to see you there !

– Suzanne

 

 

 

Published in: on June 13, 2018 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Our Sign: A Timeline in Photos

The wind blew.

I’m often asked how I got started on the cemetery.  The story is entangled with our sign, so please bear with my story as it relates to our sign:

Back in 2005, as I was walking through Walmart’s parking lot on one of my (rare) days off, trying to focus on my grocery list, the wind blew.

And something urged my heart to look to the left, at a nearby forest just across Lake Creek Parkway.  The gentle breeze was exposing the corner of a white sign.  Everything about the sign was covered in forest growth, but there was  a sign there, sure enough, at the end of an old sandy driveway.  So I crossed the street (which had absolutely no traffic, my how times have changed), took a deep breath, and pulled back a little more of the overgrowth.  It wasn’t a forest; it was a cemetery !  Taking another deep breath, and braving all the thorns and poison oak, I pulled back a little more of the overgrowth, and peeked in.  What I saw made this amateur genealogist gasp and cry.

It was John Boatright’s old stone (prior to being replaced by the Confederate Sons of America).  It appeared to be an OLD military stone.  I couldn’t see anything else, but the stone of a man who had served in the military.  An apparently forgotten story to be told, of a life hopefully well-lived.

That’s it; I was hooked.  It all started with the wind, and that sign, and Mr. Boatright’s stone.  But from that day til this, I don’t know what it is, but it’s not just the wind that pulls me to God’s Garden.

I determined right then and there, I didn’t know how, but things were going to change for that ol’ place.  I contacted Karen Thompson, whose name was on the fence (in-laws buried in the Walden section); I went to her home, she couldn’t have been nicer, and gave me a bit of the history.  The wheels in my mind started spinning and have never stopped.  Immediately enlisting the help of my teenage daughter and anyone else who would listen, we dug in.  And we dug and we chopped and we mowed and we pulled and we itched and we sweat and we cleaned and we bagged and we photographed and we laughed.  For something like 20 Saturdays in a row, give or take.  LOL and we only cleaned the front opening area.

And the entire time, THE ENTIRE TIME, that sign kept calling me…..

I will not presume to tell you we cleaned the place up:  we didn’t.  Buster did all that, completing it in 2010, and it’s a story itself.  But what I can share is the Timeline of our Sign.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Noted on the sign was “Erected in 1996 by Westwood High School 861st Air Force Junior ROTC”.  It wouldn’t be right to not give them due recognition, so I start with them.

It was a wooden sign, with wooden posts.  Well-made.  It went through a few permutations until, a few years later, taking a week off work, I hand-cut stenciling (“Showboat” font) and hand-painted it into the familiar sign we had for a decade or so.

And in March 2018, “old wood” was retired and replaced with a thick and strong aluminum replica, by “Affordable Signs of Georgetown”.  They do good work.  It.  Is.  Glorious.  (PS I have the old sign in my shed at home — couldn’t give it up lol).

So, as promised, here are the pictures of “Our Sign Through Time”.  Enjoy !

 

Front entry 2005 after about six months of cleanup. One of my biggest regrets is not taking a photo on Day One.

 

I took it upon myself to add “100% Volunteer”; here is the sign with some lettering removed, and the “POND” stenciling put up, April 2010.

 

Paint Remover on the sign. April 2010.

 

Done ! That’s an old website; we have had a few DON’T USE THAT WEBSITE !

 

At first, I put the current website on the back because it was so long, and removed the old website from the front.  PS we also had a Go Daddy website once-upon-a-time too, lol.

 

Then I replaced the website on the back, with this, a memorial to the children of Pond Springs Cemetery “Too Beautiful for this Earth” a listing of the children, constantly being updated.  Click on the link below.

Too Beautiful for this Earth

Look closely and you can see the names.

 

Updated, made the baby smaller, 2016-2017. Note the paint, always chipping.

 

Poor “ol’ wood”, can you see how the post curved? It was like this for at least a decade.

 

Clean Up Day April 2016; I had removed the vinyl logo and hadn’t replaced it yet.

 

Replacing the vinyl logo; it had to be replaced every year or so.  Clean Up Day October 2017.

 

GLORIOUS ALUMINUM SIGN ! 6 March 2018. “Affordable Signs of Georgetown”  After much angst, it was decided to somehow/someway place a memorial to the children inside the cemetery “one day”

 

Yellow Lantana Donated !

– Suzanne

Remember, God’s Garden needs heroes.  Please give in whatever way you deem most appropriate.  Volunteer !  The world is run by those who show up.  Thanks.

Published in: on April 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm  Comments (1)