There is a Texas State historical marker near the front gate telling the history of the cemetery. What isn’t told is that this cemetery is home to many historical figures. There are gravesites within adorned with their own Texas State historical marker.
In November, the cemetery comes alive when individuals rise from their graves to tell their magnificent story. Check back on the website’s calendar to learn of this new event and when it might occur!
During the remainder of the year, visitors may saunter down the pathways to read interesting headstones, conduct rubbings, or dabble in geneology.
The Texas Historical Commission recently designated the Columbia Cemetery as a Historic Texas Cemetery, an important step in ensuring its preservation.
This designation is reserved for cemeteries that are at least 50 years old and documented through the Historic Texas Cemeteries process to record their historic association and significance.
A presentation was made on October 27 to Columbia Cemetery Association board of trustees’ president, Jo Frances Chastain by Alice Royalty.
“This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of these important cultural resources,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC. “Knowledge and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of a historic cemetery.”
The Old Columbia Cemetery was part of the plantation of Josiah H.
Bell, founder of both East and West Columbia. He died May 17, 1838 and was buried there, but the first burial was an infant, Clinton Terry Duff, born August 5, 1833 and died December 28, 1833.
There are veterans of every war from the Texas Revolution through the Gulf War buried at the cemetery.
The cemetery was enlarged several times throughout the years, with the most recent acquisition being a 2 acre tract purchased from the Columbia-Brazoria ISD in 2010 which is still undeveloped.
Photos Courtesy City of West Columbia