San Pedro Cemetery is celebrating a 100 year history on Saturday.
The public is invited to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Cementerio San Pedro, located at the intersection of Posey Road and Old Bastrop Highway (SH 21). The event takes place Saturday from 2-4 p.m.
The celebration will also commemorate the Mexican-Catholic Holiday of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.
Established in 1909, San Pedro cemetery has a very rich history. At a time when our country and state were highly segregated by race, class, and ethnicity, local Mexicans formed a mutual aid society to help people with the expenses involved in funerals.
The society’s first officers were Antonio Sanchez (president), Pablo de la Rosa (secretary), Alejandro Rodriguez (treasurer and caretaker), Jose Guerrero (vice president), Ramon Rivera (substitute secretary), and Rosendo Arredondo (collector). Established when most cemeteries in Texas were segregated by ethnicity, Luis Rosales and others helped collect money from Mexican and Mexican American residents in the area to purchase approximately two acres of land.
A group of 47 men is listed on the by-laws as founders of the cemetery. Records from 1915 indicate that the Association had more than 300 members, and in 1937 they purchased another two acres. Based on the by-laws, the association wanted to preserve the right for persons of all means and all faiths to bury their loved ones.
After World War II came increased urbanization. San Pedro Cemetery was relatively neglected. Local residents and members of the founding families revitalized it in the 1960s. Now, the San Pedro Cemetery Association is one of the few surviving mutual aid societies in both Texas and the United States.
According to current board members, some relatives and friends of the deceased buried in San Pedro Cemetery celebrate Dia de los Muertos by making home altars and decorating graves. The public is invited to learn more about the holiday and the cemetery.
The cemetery board is especially interested in having persons familiar with San Marcos and San Pedro attend to help them document the history and traditions of the local community, especially through photos, memorabilia, funeral announcements, and anything else related to San Pedro. Texas State University students will be available to record stories, folklore, and oral histories before and during the celebration.
According to current board members of San Pedro Cemetery, Dia de los Muertos is still celebrated, by some relatives and friends of the deceased, by making home altars and decorating the graves.
For more information, contact Dr. Ana Juarez at (512) 245-8272 or visit http://www.txstate.edu/anthropology/centers/Cemetery/San-Pedro.html for more information on San Pedro’s history.