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Old Sabine Valley Cemetery

This cemetery was located May, 1990 by Ryan Coker, Thomas Coker and Don Braziel. This was used as part of Ryan's Eagle Scout project. Thank you Ryan for letting us use this information.

This cemetery is located approximately 1 1/2 miles east from the intersection of Hwy 42 south and the Sabine River.  The site is on the north bank of the river, located on land that belongs to the heirs of Mimi Castleberry. Access is through privately owned land and is in a remote area of river bottom.  The site would be almost impossible to find without a guide, since it has been reclaimed by trees and under-brush.  The only visible signs of the graveyard are one tombstone, which is illegible and has been broken, and the partial foundation of a small church that was located near the site.

According to area residents questioned, while searching for this site, most graves were relocated to the New Sabine Valley Cemetery west of Hwy 42. One older black gentleman, after being informed of plans to index the cemetery, indicated that exact grave locations and names would be difficult to determine since the cemetery had been vandalized over the years, and since it was the practice of the poorer black families, who could not afford gravestones, to mark the grave with native rock, a wooden marker or simply a glass jar or other readily
obtainable objects.

Though very little remains of the original site, the search was a challenge, a considerable time had been spent trying to find a guide who could pinpoint the location.  Having found that guide, there was a sense of excitement as our search party drove down logging roads in the river bottom to a point where the road became impassable and forced the party of three to continue the last 3/4 miles on foot.  Following the guide through the underbrush and tall pine; the party came to a corner in the fence on a high knoll and just beyond could be seen what was left of the church foundation and several depressions, indicating that graves had been exhumed.

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