Olivewood Cemetery is a near-abandoned cemetery hidden behind Party Boy and the grocery supply warehouse on Studemont, just south of I-10 and White Oak Bayou. (Hence, one suspects, Party’s Boy’s claim that the haunted house it hosts each October – Nightmare on the Bayou – is “Houston’s only haunted house that is really haunted.”) The cemetery was the first black cemetery in Houston. Burials continued there into the 1960’s, but the cemetery became overgrown and neglected in the decades that followed. While various community service organizations have sponsored clean-up activities at the cemetery, much work remains to be done.
One of the more interesting gravestone inscriptions reads: “Think what a wife should be. She was that.” Another reads: “Murdered at Dallas, Tex. Dec. 12, 1889.” A partial registry of those buried at Olivewood Cemetery is available online.
(Please note the additional comments below from Ms. Margott Williams, President of Descendents of Olivewood, Inc. Also, the book referenced in Ms. Rhonda McDonald’s comment below, Out of the Ditch, A True Story of an Ex-Slave, is available online here.)
Aulbach, L.F., “Ghosts of Houston’s Past Haunt the Cemeteries on Buffalo Bayou,” Buffalo Bayou – An Echo of Houston’s Wilderness Beginnings (2001).
Perry, J., “Houston Heritage – Grave undertaking: efforts to preserve earliest black cemetery,” City Savvy (Online Ed. 2005).
“Preservation Update,” Greater Houston Preservation Alliance