National Trust for Historic Places Names Olivewood Cemetery One of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

The Descendants of Olivewood are proud to announce that Olivewood Cemetery has been named one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2022. For over three decades, the National Trust has brought awareness to the threats many historic sites face by placing them on America’s 11 Most Endangered Places list. This designation recognizes the ever-growing threat of damage and erosion brought on by increased flooding in the Houston area. Major flooding events, such as the extreme flooding of 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017, not only submerge Olivewood Cemetery, that water has the power to dislodge and damage headstones. Heavy rains and flooding also increases sediment accumulation and contributes to the shifting of monuments over time. These impacts pose an imminent threat to the remaining tombstones in Olivewood Cemetery.

QUOTE FROM KATHERINE MALONE-FRANCE, CHIEF PRESERVATION OFFICER “Olivewood Cemetery is tremendously significant in American history because it connects us directly to the powerful stories of Black men and women who were brought to this country enslaved, participated in the earliest Juneteenth celebrations of their emancipation in 1865, built Houston’s Black community, and went on to vote and run for elective office as free citizens. This sacred place and the dedicated volunteers who have brought it back to life need expanded partnerships and support to help protect Olivewood Cemetery from the increasing impacts of climate change-related extreme weather.” 

A view of Olivewood Cemetery (founded in 1875)
Olivewood Cemetery 2022