Cemetery Working Day – 1954 Smithwick Cemetery, Burnet County

Something important to the life and condition of a cemetery is the care it receives.

Until a few years ago it was a Smithwick tradition to meet 3 times each year on designated Saturdays to do a thorough cleaning of the whole cemetery. I think it was in February, June & November.

Everyone in the community and from places everywhere would show up, spend and few hours tidying up the place, then a big pot luck meal was enjoyed outdoors on the grounds.

That tradition has now fallen by the wayside as more funds are available to hire the maintenance done and the disinterest by the younger generation to partake in such an activity. However, now twice each year we meet to take care of the business of the cemetery and then a potluck lunch is enjoyed. But it’s all done in the indoors. Not quite the same as in the “old days”.

In the pictures are some of ladies in their bonnets with tools in hand working and visiting. The final picture is of one of those meals.

As a young boy I always preferred to eat fried chicken legs & drink sweet tea out of tin cans that were saved for that purpose. Something about drinking tea that way made it so much better.

It was a social time. A time for everyone to catch up on what had be happening with everyone else.

The little boys above, could easily been Edwin DeSpain and Me. We were born in June & August of 1952, and most likely this photo was from the Feb/March Cemetery Working in 1954, according to the way everyone is dressed.

2 thoughts on “Cemetery Working Day – 1954 Smithwick Cemetery, Burnet County

  1. My maternal family, the DeGlandons’ enjoyed and performed the same tradition at the McDade cemetery in McDade,Texas in Bastrop County. I only remember a few and one of the yearly cemetery maintenance event coincided with the DeGlandon family reunion with a pot lock lunch held at a nearby VFW hall. One of my great uncles [Uncle Bud] was the designated BBQ pitmaster and I enjoyed watching and interacting with him and his stories of yesteryear….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The picture of the meal at the long table reminds me of hat manners. I was told at an early age that the only time a man was allowed to wear his hat at a dinner table was if the dinner was held outdoors,,,..indoors your hat was removed and placed on a vacant chair or on the chair the wearer occupied….

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