Saturday, November 08, 2008

a week in review... again...

Maybe I'll make this a regular feature... It seems to be the only way I have time to do anything... It's been a pretty good week actually. We have a new President, congratulations to Mr. Obama (just in case he happens to stop by)

Of course,
I often drive up hwy 360, through the city of Irving to get to Dallas. I'd say I drive through there at least 4 times a week, often more. On hwy 183, just before the 161 exit in Irving, there's a cement retaining wall, with a clump of trees on top. Anyone driving along the highway, at about 65 miles an hour on 4 lanes going each direction, is just going to notice a clump of trees, if they notice anything at all... what most people don't realize, and I know this because I've pointed it out to several people who've driven the road everyday to work for years who had no earthly idea, is that this small clump of trees is actually a cemetery. That's correct, practically in the middle of the highway, there is a graveyard. Actually, not in the middle of the highway, it's wedged between the 4 Eastbound lanes and the 2 lane entrance ramp, but still...

It's the Thompkins family cemetery, and is the last remnants of one of the plantations/farms that a large part of Irving was built on. I had enough down time the other day to figure out how to get over to it, which is not easy as it is not on an accessible exit at all...

The retaining wall, which puts drivers on the highway at about eye level and within 20 feet of the persons buried here, was just put in about 4 years ago, and at that time the old tombstones were replaced by modern markers that lay flat on the ground. I remember there being an older pylon marker that was at least six feet tall, that has been removed, probably to take attention away from the cemetery. Quite frankly, visiting it is risking accident on the road. The earliest internment was on Jan 12 1897. The last internment was in 2004,very near the time that the retaining wall was built, which means this cemetery is still in use by the family.

A cemetery of this age is certainly old enough to be considered for Historical Site status, but I'm pretty sure that the inaccessible location on the highway (which makes visiting it slightly dangerous) coupled with the fact that it is probably still held as a private holding by the family has prevented that.

I also got stuck in downtown Dallas this week, and since I had nothing else to do for an hour, I decided to pretend I was a tourist. Here's the old courthouse, which is now used as a historical museum and visitors center...

here's Reunion tower...

and right in the middle of Downtown, the John F. Kennedy memorial, commemorating the President whose assasination took place just down the street. (not Dallas's proudest moment, but much of history isn't neccesarily pretty.)

and that's pretty much it.


  1. thank claude i visit Dallas in your blog ... good luck for next week

  2. Interesting place for a cemetery! WOW! We visited Dallas a while back, and guess what passed by us while we were walking downtown??? The lit Olympic Torch. That was a really neat moment in time!

  3. I've seen a few family cemeteries in Indiana and Virginia when visiting there, but never any here in AZ. I think it was a common practice in some areas of the country. Seems like a nice tradition for those who have the land to establish such a thing.
    One thing about history--eventually it seems to get rewritten because it doesn't fit with the direction of those in power, or because of political correctness. Maybe that part of Dallas' history will someday be rewritten.