GRAVEYARD AND HANGING TREE
Today, being Lydia's day off, we planned a shopping trip to Corpus Christi. I drove to Old San Patricio, where she lives and we drove around looking at some of the old sites before leaving for C.C. There has been extreme flooding there for the past month or so, so the grass is grown up terribly, and there are limbs, household items and all kinds of things all over. The river is still out of it's banks and some places are still under water.
First we went to the Old Cemetery on the Hill. Getting back there to it was no easy matter, even in a pick-up. It was too grown up in weeds to go inside the fence safely. The rattlesnakes are displaced and likely to be anywhere. Ick! Plus I was wearing sandals and capris. I plan on going back in jeans and combat boots later on.
The historical marker for the cemetery. It reads, "This cemetery is believed to have been used for generations by Indian tribes and Mexican settlers who lived in this area previous to anglo colonization. Following the establishment of San Patricio de Hibernia in 1830, by empresarios John McMullen and James McGloin, the colonists continued to use the old cemetery on the hill.
According to local oral tradition, early graves in the cemetery were marked by wooden crosses and stones bearing Spanish and English inscriptions. Among those interred here are Lt. Marcelino Garcia, who was killed in the Battle of Fort Lipantitlan in 1835. Also buried here are soldiers who died in the Battle of San Patricio on February 27, 1836, James McGloin, whose grave was never marked, victims of diseases such as scarlet fever, men killed fighting duels and many early settlers and their decendants.
After a new cemetery was consecrated in San Patricio by Father Antione Maury in 1872, the old cemetery was used infrequently. The old cemetery was neglected for many years, until restoration efforts were begun in the 1960's. Some tombstones were destroyed or lost over the years, but the historic graveyard is now maintained."
This is reputed to be the tree Chepita Rodriguez was hanged from. She was buried beneath it, too. One (or two?) of my ancestors were on the jury for her trial. They recommended mercy, but the judge ruled otherwise. There was a sort of memorial shrine at the site until the flood. Or until vandals got to it. I don't know which. It is just off the road in a country housing addition, and the road turns very dark from the thick overgrowth of trees just before you get to it.
It is sickening how much vandalism there is in this little historic community. The flooding hasn't helped either. I really wish the whole area could be better maintained and guarded.