Best Regional Cemetery (2004)

Wyatt Chapel Community Cemetery Motorists along U.S. 290 might never realize the rich heritage hidden in the woods-shrouded lowlands about 30 miles northwest of Houston. University Drive, near the edge of the Prairie View A&M campus, has displayed a historical marker for the Wyatt Chapel graveyard for the past decade, but few outsiders know that the real thing -- the remnants of a slave cemetery -- is just to the east, down a rough, winding, quarter-mile trek through the trees. Only a handful of simple, post-slavery grave markers still stand on this former plantation ground. But the haphazard depressions in the soil loom as stark reminders of an enslaved people, most of them unable to offer more than simple trinkets or beads to mark the burial sites. But here in this silent, lush undergrowth, the atmosphere is more vivid and haunting than in the grandest of granite-adorned graveyards. The past, it seems, doesn't rest well at the Wyatt -- nor should it.


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