Camptown Cemetery is the oldest predominately African American cemetery in Brenham. It dates from the 1860s and historically has been associated with Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church.
After the Civil War, former Washington County slaves, many of whom also organized Mt. Rose M.B.C. and St. John A.M.E. churches, relocated to the wooded area of what became known as the Camptown Addition. The name is derived from the federal troops who camped here from 1865-68 to keep peace between emancipated Blacks and landowners. A surveyed map of the post dated July 1868 shows the cemetery already in use, just north of the Washington County railraod near Hog Branch.
Among the estimated 400 burials here may be solders who were victims of yellow fever outbreaks of 1866-67. At least 40 former slaves are known to be buried here as well. More recently, as other burial options became available at other locations, Camptown Cemetery was seldom used and it became overgrown and neglected. Efforts by local concerned citizens, historians, and others has led to its revitalization.
Today, efforts are underway to continue that revitalization. An historical marker denoting its importance to the community was emplaced in 2013. It has been cleared of brush, weeds, and debris, and is now a very peaceful area with pleasant and quiet surroundings. Benches have been added so visitors can sit and reflect on current events and past memories.
Future plans call for markers and family plots to be identified and retored; landscaping to further enhance the cemetery; a walkway into and throughout the area; fencing to protect and secure the cemetery; installation of a main gate and entry way; and countless other improvements.
Restoration, revitalization, and upkeep of historic Camptown Cemetery is only possible through the generous support (time and money) of the community. As such, the Camptown Cemetery Association encourages everyone to become involved in this community project. Begin by purchasing a "brick" that will be part of a new walkway into and through the cemetery.
State Cemetery Historical Marker (2013)
Price per Brick
$40 for 2 lines
$50 for 3-4 lines
Click on the "Camptown Cemetery Photo" drop down tab to see additional photos.