TAMINA, Texas - A non-profit organization is working to save a historic cemetery that has been under water for about a decade.
Sweet Rest Cemetery was established in the 1870s.
Former slaves, Native Americans and veterans are buried there. Many Tamina families have been laid to rest there as well.
Elijah Easley explained that poor drainage and new development in the area caused water to start pooling several years ago.
As many as 200 graves may be submerged in the marsh.
Easley, chairman of the board of Tamina Cemetery and Community Project CDC, has several family members buried at Sweet Rest Cemetery.
“It hurts. I came down during Mother’s Day thinking by this time the water had dried up and I could get to my mother’s grave right here. I could lay the flowers that I had purchased down. Couldn’t get beyond the beginning,” he said.
So far, Huntsman Corporation has pledged $50,000 towards the project if the non-profit can raise $5,000.
Sunbelt Rentals has also donated sump pumps.
“This has to be done in phases. Phase one is for us to raise money. Secondly, to get the water out. Then we can go and document how many graves are actually here in the cemetery,” Easley said.
The goal is to raise $250,000 to restore and maintain Sweet Rest Cemetery.
“If we don’t get this corrected now, if we don’t make a difference now, it’s going to be repeated again later on. To keep our children’s children from repeating the same history again and letting history like this go down under water, we want to make sure we can make that difference right now,” he said.
Tamina Cemetery and Community Project CDC is holding a fundraiser at 11 a.m. June 30 at Tamina Park.
For more information about the project, tap/click here.