AUSTIN, Texas —
The Pioneers Rest Cemetery in Fort Worth, Tarrant County was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this property in recognition of its importance to the history of Fort Worth and the State of Texas. Noted for its historical and artistic significance, the district joins more than 3,300 other properties in Texas with National Register status.
Founded in 1850, Pioneers Rest Cemetery is Fort Worth’s first and oldest cemetery. It opened a year after Camp Worth military installation (later known as Fort Worth) was established on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Clear and West Forks of the Trinity River and served as the fort’s burial ground.
It was the city’s primary cemetery until 1879, when other cemeteries were established. Burials continued at Pioneers Rest through the early 20th century and it remained the cemetery of choice for many early Fort Worth residents and their descendants.
The cemetery has an excellent collection of funerary art, ranging from simple tablet markers to Gothic, Egyptian, and Classical Revival monuments. Inscriptions on numerous grave markers are no longer legible due to age and environmental conditions and there are areas that contain only remnants of markers or are unmarked. Today, burials are infrequent.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources.
Being listed affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation.
To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit thc.texas.gov.