Big Step Taken In Efforts To Maintain Historic Black Cemetary

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Olivewood Cemetary, tucked behind industrial buildings west of Studemont just south of I-10, is one of the city's historic black cemetaries.

It's not as well-known as some of the other pocket cemetaries around Montrose because of its semi-secluded location, so it has historically tended to fall into disrepair. Weeds can grow high, garbage can pile up, headstones can rot.

Two groups have been tussling over the right to protect and contro lthe cemetary, and this morning a district judge declared a winner.

The Descendants of Olivewood have been awarded guardianship of the cemetary by 11th District Judge Mark Davidson.

"This gives us the opportunity to start seeking grants and funds for the cemetary," Margott Williams, president of the group, tells Hair Balls. "We can do things like restore the headstones and graves that need it."

Buried in Olivewood, according to the group's website, is "Dr. Charles B. Johnson, also known as The Singing Dentist and author of Houston's Bicentennial song "Houston is a Grand Old Town" written in 1927 but performed in 1976."

The place is also puprtedly haunted. The website Dark Destinations lists it, but notes "the sightings are pretty much limited to vague apparitions and shadows that move about after it gets dark." Which doesn't sound too haunted to us.

And then there's this description, from the Ghastly Ghost Hunter:

On several visits to Olivewood we would come across refuse of all kinds lying about . This is an un kept and dangerous place at night to say the least .We trampled through six foot overgrowth, fell into sunken graves and on one occasion interrupted a crack whore and her john behind a tombstone off the ravine . Syringes and used condoms were also seen in several areas . This cemetery is why I decided to obtain a concealed hand gun license.

They did say they saw a ghost who identified herself as Mary White. She was killed in 1888, so it's not likely she was responsible for the syringes and used condoms.

-- Richard Connelly

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