Huntsville Off The Beaten Path Tips by Stephen-KarenConn Top 5 Page for this destination
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Sam Houston Monument and Grave
On the 75th anniversary of the battle San Jacinto, April 21, 1911, the State of Texas erected this monument to the memory of Sam Houston. The honorable William Jennings Bryan spoke to the hundreds of people in attendance, proclaiming General Houston as a national hero as well as a great Texas patriot.
The monument, sculpted by Pompeo Coppini, is of Texas grey granite and represents Houston as the General in command of the Texas Army. On the left is the figure of "Lady Victory" and on the right is "Lady History."
The inscription on the monument's east side was written by Houston's youngest daughter who was in attendance at the ceremony. The wrought iron fence which surrounds the grave site is designed with inverted axes, symbolizing "Peace, the battle is over."
Prior to Texas winning independence from Mexico, Huntsville was founded in 1835 by Pleasant Gray. Twelve years later he deeded this land to Huntsville for "a place of burial, free to all persons." This cemetery, however, was in use before Gray's deed. The oldest headstone has the date 1842, but earlier graves were either unmarked or the markers have long since disappeared.
The Oakwood Cemetery is the final resting place for many people of historical prominence, also in Oakwood are buried 8 Union soldiers, 123 Confederate soldiers and possibly more.
Just inside the entrance to the cemetery is a covered rack with brochures which lead you step-by-step to 31 gravesites and/or points of interest. A light rain was falling when I was there, but I still found the place fascinating.
To find the Oakwood Cemetery from Huntsville's downtown square, travel east on 11th Street and turn left on Spur 94. This is Sam Houston Memorial Drive, which is Texas' shortest highway. It will lead you one block to the cemetery, at the corner of I and 9th Street.
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