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UER Forum > Archived US: South > Star Cemetery, Shreveport (Viewed 434 times)
FireworksOrStars 


Location: New Orleans via Shreveport, Louisiana
Gender: Female




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Star Cemetery, Shreveport
< on 10/20/2007 12:49 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Not exploration, but what the heck.

I generally don't shoot cemeteries (you can only take so many shots of tombstones), but I really like this place. The LSUS History Club (yeah, I'm that much of a geek, hush) has joined up with one of our professors to map this cemetery and start cleaning it up. Thursday was our first day out, and I took my camera along just to get a few shots of our folks working in case someone wanted to post them on our board or something. The place actually ended up being really interesting.
Star is the oldest black cemetery in Shreveport, dating back to the 1880's. It has been officially closed for decades and has fallen into disrepair. It gets mown occasionally, usually the day after Dr. Joiner has spent a weekend surveying and setting out stakes to mark boundaries, thus causing him to have to do the work all over again once the stakes have been chopped off to ground level.

The most striking thing about the place is a massive pile of tombstones near the northwest corner of the cemetery. Dr. Joiner informed us that after we map the marked graves, we have to go back to each quadrant and search for the unmarked graves because many people's tombstones have been removed and thrown into the pile.
Unfortunately, the cemetery isn't associated with a church, nor the city, so no burial records exist. We can't identify who lies where and replace the stones, but we've been toying with the idea of raising money to put up a memorial for those whose graves are no longer marked.

While we were mapping our first cell, an incredibly irate man whom none of us had seen before showed up. Dr. Joiner took him off to the side and they talked for what seemed like forever and a day. The guy was obviously pissed that we were there, and we were seriously worried for a minute there that he might get violent. Dr. White (our History Club sponsor) had been in the conversation for a while and finally came over to fill us in. The guy turned out to be from the Star Cemetery Preservation Society. Looking at the place, you'd never guess such an organization existed. Apparently he wasn't happy with what we were doing; why someone from a preservation society would be mad at us for trying to, ya know, preserve the place is beyond me. Dr. White also informed us that the pile of tombstones was the work of a sexton hired by the preservation society to keep up the place. Ironic, no?
They apparently worked out a plan, kind of, but until we get the situation with Star smoothed over we've had to shift our focus to Oakland Cemetery (site of the mass grave from the yellow fever epidemic of 1873; 1,000+ people).

Enough of my rambling. Here are the few photos I managed to take.















Yes, he's wearing LSU-colored crocs. Don't hold it against him, haha.


http://www.flickr....arlsieshaver/sets/
Happiedaze 


Location: Galveston Area, TX
Gender: Female




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Re: Star Cemetery, Shreveport
<Reply # 1 on 10/20/2007 4:22 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Wow... that is really cool but sad at the same time.

Good pictures... thanks for sharing

'Our plans are all laid out,
take all these unmarked roads,
we blaze the trails to places no one goes, yeah!' -Rise Against
RobertB 


Location: Skeeterville, TX
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Maybe I shouldn't be using my real name...

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Re: Star Cemetery, Shreveport
<Reply # 2 on 10/20/2007 2:59 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by FireworksOrStars
While we were mapping our first cell, an incredibly irate man whom none of us had seen before showed up. Dr. Joiner took him off to the side and they talked for what seemed like forever and a day. The guy was obviously pissed that we were there, and we were seriously worried for a minute there that he might get violent. Dr. White (our History Club sponsor) had been in the conversation for a while and finally came over to fill us in. The guy turned out to be from the Star Cemetery Preservation Society. Looking at the place, you'd never guess such an organization existed. Apparently he wasn't happy with what we were doing; why someone from a preservation society would be mad at us for trying to, ya know, preserve the place is beyond me.

Not to be overly suspicious, but have you checked into whether this "Star Cemetery Preservation Society" actually DOES exist? My suspicion is that you encountered a member of the Star Cemetery Crack Addicts & Meth Manufacturers Society, in which case your efforts to preserve and clean up the cemetery are in direct opposition to the gentleman's "efforts".

J'ai toujours fait une prière à Dieu, qui est fort courte.
La voici: "Mon Dieu, rendez nos ennemis bien ridicules!"
Dieu m'a exaucé.
Raticus 

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Location: Tyler
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Re: Star Cemetery, Shreveport
<Reply # 3 on 10/20/2007 4:25 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by RobertB

Not to be overly suspicious, but have you checked into whether this "Star Cemetery Preservation Society" actually DOES exist? My suspicion is that you encountered a member of the Star Cemetery Crack Addicts & Meth Manufacturers Society, in which case your efforts to preserve and clean up the cemetery are in direct opposition to the gentleman's "efforts".


I hadn't thought about that, but it's a good point. Might be something you guys wanna check out just to be on the safe side. Don't go out there alone until you find out.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools speak because they have to say something.
FireworksOrStars 


Location: New Orleans via Shreveport, Louisiana
Gender: Female




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Re: Star Cemetery, Shreveport
<Reply # 4 on 10/25/2007 1:23 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for the replies guys. Though I haven't been able to find anything on the Star Cemetery Preservation Society, my best guess is they're just an unofficial group of people who care about the cemetery and probably have relatives buried there. After Dr. Joiner got things straightened out with the guy and explained the situation, they did seem to have good intentions and were concerned about the place; they just weren't really doing a good job of keeping it up. Honestly, it's a very poor neighborhood, and they probably don't have the resources to do a full-blown restoration.
The fact that the place is one of the most disputed pieces of land in the city (doesn't belong to a church, the city, or a private owner) really doesn't help matters because no one really knows who is actually responsible for it.

Dr. Joiner has now moved our project to Oakland Cemetery (which won't be nearly as fun; we'll mostly just be cleaning tombstones and photographing them for an online database, blah). We're still thinking of doing the fundraiser for the Star memorial, but from what I understand that's all we'll be doing for that cemetery from now on. =(

Anyway, I'm off to New Orleans for a week. I'll see y'all when I get back.

http://www.flickr....arlsieshaver/sets/
Raticus 

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Re: Star Cemetery, Shreveport
<Reply # 5 on 10/25/2007 2:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
You're probably right about the group and what they are doing. My concern, and I think everyone elses too, is just be safe and be careful. Sometimes it's hard to tell what folks are up to these days. It is too bad though that the cemetary is stuck in "no man's land" and not getting the attention and respect that it should get from a community. We have a few like that in my area too.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools speak because they have to say something.
UER Forum > Archived US: South > Star Cemetery, Shreveport (Viewed 434 times)



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