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.
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After the Civil War, former Washington County slaves, many of whom also organized Mount Rose Missionary Baptist and St. John African Methodist Episcopal churches, relocated to the wooded area of what became known as the Camptown Addition. Runaway slaves and freedmen inhabited the area in the 1850s and began burials at the site. The Cemetery became officially known as "Camptown" after the Civil War ended and the Union troops occupied the area in 1865 in order to keep the peace between the former slaves and white landowners. A surveyed map of the post dated July 1868 shows the cemetery already in use, just north of the Washington County railroad near Hog Branch.
Among the estimated 400 burials here may be soldiers 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 led to its revitalization.
Today, efforts are underway to continue that revitalization. A historical marker denoting its importance to the community was placed 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 restored; 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 entryway; 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 the new walkway into and through the cemetery.
Price per Brick
$40 for 2 lines
$50 for 3-4 lines
Camptown Cemetery "Buy-A-Brick" Campaign
The Camptown Cemetery Association is currently running its "Buy-A-Brick" campaign as an opportunity for Washington County residents to honor and memorialize loved ones. Bricks can be donated in honor of, or in memory of a loved one or yourself and/or your company.
In 2013, Mr. Eddie Harrison was able to garner interest for its restoration. The Brenham Heritage Museum and Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church were also instrumental in spearheading the effort. Restoration requires funds and community support. In the years of work by volunteers, equipment and supply costs have been covered by generous donations from several organizations and individuals. As a starting point, the money generated from the brick sites will be used to maintain and start the restoration process of the cemetery and its markers. The bricks themselves will be used as a part of a walkway along Mangrum Road leading to the entrance to the Camptown Cemetery Historic Memorial Park.
The bricks can have 2-4 lines engraved with up to 20 letters per line. The bricks cost $40.00 for 2 lines and $50 for 3 or 4 lines of engraving. Please fill out the order form and submit it. You can mail a check made out to Camptown Cemetery Association at PO Box 294, Brenham, TX 7734 or you can click the 'Giving' tab on the top menu or here and scroll to Special Projects where you will see Camptown Cemetery. If you desire more than 2 bricks, complete more than one order form. All proceeds will be used for the cost of the bricks and work directly related to the cemetery restoration.
If you do not desire a brick but would still like to make a donation in any amount, it would be greatly appreciated. Donors of $250.00 or more will be recognized at a later point in our restoration process. Donations are tax-deductible.