Best of Houston

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Cemeteries

Houston's been home to former presidents, movie stars, famous crooks and the lawyers that got them out of jail, sports legends and medical pioneers, and all sorts of colorful folks. Where do all of these people go when they die? To Houston cemeteries, of course. Here's our list of our favorites.

10. De Zavala Cemetery Coming in at number 10 is De Zavala Cemetery. Heroes from the War of Texas Independence are buried in here. The cemetery is located inside San Jacinto Battleground Park (where the heroes fought and died). Burial dates range up to April, 1836.

9. Olivewood Cemetery Olivewood Cemetery was a burial ground for slaves before it became an official cemetery in 1875. The city's first black alderman, Richard Brock, bought the grounds and it was opened to black Methodists in 1877. It was the first African-American burial ground in Houston. Decades of neglect account for its current condition, although a group of descendents of people buried there has been making significant clean-up and preservation efforts over the last few years. Also, the fact that it sits next to a bayou doesn't help. A few graves have been lost as the bayou's banks have eaten away at the cemetery's border.

8. Hillendahl Cemetery A one-time winner of Best Cemetery in the Houston Press Best of Houston awards, Hillendahl Cemetery is the smallest - and the most strangely located- cemetery on our list. On what was once the Hillendahl farm, a family burial ground still stands, even through the 1,400-square-foot plot is surrounded by businesses and busy street (it sits at the corner of Long Point and Pech). There are 18 headstones in Hillendahl, all for members of the German immigrant family. A family descendant sold the farm, but refused to sell the cemetery, so there it is.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez