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Der Stadt Friedhof

Der Stadt Friedhof

Fredericksburg (TX), 78624, United States

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Description Der Stadt Friedhof is a pioneer cemetery established in 1846 along Barons Creek on the corner of East Schubert Street and Lee Street, in Fredericksburg, Texas. It is the oldest known cemetery within Fredericksburg and is the final resting place for many of the original German colonists who arrived when John O. Meusebach opened up the area to settlement.BackgroundWhen Herman Wilke laid out the town, a plot of land was set aside for the cemetery. The various denominations who worshiped in the Vereins Kirche were responsible for cemetery maintenance. In 1850, the Catholics broke away and started their own church, establishing their own cemetery, now known as the Old Pioneer Cemetery. There are upwards of 5,000 graves in Der Stadt Friedhof, not all of them currently marked, many unidentifiable due to the passage of time. Some of the graves had only wooden markers which rotted in time, and some graves were obliterated whenever Barons Creek overflowed its banks. During cholera epidemics many people were buried in mass graves. Rather than being grouped in family plots, the deceased have been buried in chronological order according to when they died. The oldest readable grave marker is dated 1849. Many of the tombstones are written in German.The graves in Der Stadt Friedhof are noted for their artistic carvings and sculptures. What is possibly the last known work of sculptor Elisabet Ney, that of a tousled haired cherub resting over a grave and known as the 1906 Schnerr Memorial, can be found at Der Stadt Friedhof.On May 5, 2000, the State of Texas recognized Der Stadt Friedhof as a State Historical Cemetery.

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