Uptown Trails Cemetery Tour
Even in a city as young as Dallas, our cemeteries are rich in history. Uptown Dallas hosts four of the city’s oldest burial grounds all clustered around Hall Street. The contrast is vivid, just steps away from modern art galleries and medical offices, busy retailers and state-of–the-art residences.
In cooperation with the cemeteries’ governing bodies, Uptown Dallas, Inc. has created the Uptown Trails cemetery tour, a continuous walk through Greenwood, Calvary, and Temple Emanu-El Cemeteries and Freedman’s Memorial. The series of self-guided tours through historic Uptown cemeteries is conducted by stone markers. We encourage you to explore off our mapped path and see what sparks your interest.
Respecting the deceased, their survivors and the solemnity of the sites, we offer the following guidelines to trail users:
• Please leave your dog at home
• Runners should not use the cemeteries
• Steer clear of funerals in progress
• Greenwood Cemetery is open Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• Calvary Cemetery is open Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• Temple Emanu-El Cemetery is open Monday – Friday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed on Saturday
• Freedman’s Memorial gates are always open
Five stunning bronze sculptures by David Newton anchor this memorial to the thousands of Africans and African-Americans buried in the Freedman’s Cemetery beginning in the 1850s. Most of the original graves were callously paved over with construction of the
railroad and its successor freeway. This insult was remedied in part when the remains of roughly 1,500 people were more respectfully reinterred in the memorial grounds with the freeway reconstruction of the 1980s and 90s. Each grave was oriented with the occupant facing east, as was the cultural custom. Artifacts excavated during the process were compiled into an exhibit for the Museum of African-American Life and Culture in Fair Park.
The Uptown Trails Cemetery Tour includes but does not have markers on the Memorial
grounds. The site is graced by deeply moving original poetry affixed to bronze
plaques. The memorial site is a treasured legacy of Freedman’s Town, which thrived as a middle class African-American neighborhood well into the latter half of the 20th century. Homes, restaurants, clinics, shops, clubs, a theater and even the first Dallas public library open to African-Americans made for a bustling neighborhood.
Temple Emanu-El Cemetery
Although there are no Uptown Trails markers within its boundaries, this cemetery is rich with unique stories of members of Dallas’ oldest Jewish congregation. A prominent starting point is the long list of the great merchants whose names have emblazoned storefronts: Linz, Kahn, Titche, Sanger and Neiman. Simon Linz and his five brothers started their namesake jewelry business in 1891. In 1924 Simon established the Linz Award, which still annually honors great community benefactors. Emanuel Meyer (E.M.) Kahn literally oversaw his retail operation from a raised platform in the center of the floor.
Philip and Alexander, along with two other Sanger brothers, established a retail empire that served customers with Dallas’ first electric lights, first gas lights, first elevator, first escalator and (arguably) first telephone. Beginning in 1907, Dallas’ arbiter of taste and fashion for fifty years was Carrie Marcus Neiman. She served as chairman of the board of the trend-setting store she started with her husband, Al Neiman, and her brother
Dallas’ early Catholic settlers were the French and Belgian residents of the Utopian community called La Reunion. Part of the Galveston Diocese, they were ministered to by circuit riding priests based in Nacogdoches. The first mass was held in the home of carriage maker Maxime Guillot, whose grave in Calvary Cemetery is marked with a towering obelisk. His name survives on a short street one block west of Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
“Old Calvary” Cemetery, established in 1878, largely hosts the stories of immigrants from France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, the European origins of settlers of that period. By 1926 the Dallas Diocese had established the much larger Calvary Hill Cemetery north of the current Love Field Airport, phasing out burials at Old Calvary. In fact, many families moved their loved ones to Calvary Hill where large family plots were available. Few burials have occurred at Old Calvary since 1945.
Dallas’ second oldest cemetery is the final resting place of many Dallas notables such as Col. Christopher Columbus Slaughter, "The Cattle King of Texas"; W. H.Gaston, a wealthy Dallas banker; Alexander Cockrell, "Father of Dallas"; noted Civil War Confederate Brigadier General William Lewis Cabell; and numerous Civil War veterans. The densely wooded corner of Greenwood along Clyde and Woodside holds thousands of unmarked burials in two paupers’ cemeteries. One was the city’s official site. The other was supervised by the Order of the King’s Daughters.
You may notice several gravestones in the shape of sawed-off tree trunks. Woodmen of the World, the fraternal organization and life insurance company founded by Joseph Cullen Root in the late 19th century, offered free grave monuments as a benefit until the 1920s, when the cost grew prohibitive.