From La Porte Bay Area cemetery series:
“What about that place in the park where the gravestones were thrown into the bayou?” a student asked his teacher, “Are people really buried there?” But no gravestones can be found by the water’s edge–only cement piles of broken up streets and sewer lines–lining the bayou as it flows into Galveston Bay. However, some residents still wonder, and carry on the search. Unfortunately by now, many violent storms must have scattered the gravestones far out to sea. (See slide show at end of article).
Most area residents don’t even realize that the little fenced off area in Seabreeze Park is actually a forgotten cemetery (from 1800’s). Gravestones over the buried bodies are gone–thrown in bay waters many years ago. The Beasley Family Cemetery was named after a family whose members were buried here–some of the first settlers of La Porte. Dr. John Beasley moved to La Porte, Texas, around 1820, and it’s believed he received his land under the Spanish Land Grant. And yes, the report of the missing gravestones is true according to Pat and Fred Muston, some of the founding members of the La Porte Bay Area Heritage Society.
Today however, no markers remain–not even an indication that generations of a family are buried in this mysteriously empty area. What remains of the cemetery are indentions in the ground where headstones may have once marked graves, and those are slowly being overtaken by grass. On two sides of the fenced-off area are arches overgrown with vines that seem to clutch at visitors, as if holding them back–protecting graves from the present-day’s indifference.
As time moves quickly by, moments compound into days, weeks, and years–until many overlapping lives are all blended into a living community–no longer existing just as individuals, but evolving into a whole new entity–just as the little cemetery of forgotten lives has changed into a beautiful park on Galveston Bay.
Explore the park by the water’s edge, walk out along the pier, breathe in the sea air, listen to the cawing of the seabirds flying by, and of course, pay homage to the past–an area fenced off in the front of Seabreeze Park–all that remains of Beasley Family Cemetery.
(More information on area cemeteries can be found at website of George E. Wolf, Jr., local historian and cemetery explorer).
Enjoy this article?–One in a series of La Porte area cemetery explorations, including local history, ghost stories, and urban legends. Want to receive more articles about people, places, news, and events in the La Porte area? It’s free. Click on the Subscribe Button at the top of this page.