Eastside Cemeteries

TX_SanAntonio_EastsideCemeteries_courtesyJohnDavenport-SanAntonioExpress-News-ZUMA Press_2017_002_Sig.jpg
San Antonio, TX
United States
Eastside Cemeteries

Landscape Information

Encompassing a total of 103 acres east of downtown San Antonio are the Eastside Cemeteries. Starting with the establishment of City Cemetery No. 1 in 1853, a total of 31 cemeteries, ranging in size from 0.06 to 10.6 acres, were created by different groups, including the City of San Antonio, the U.S. Government, the United Confederate Veterans, various synagogues, churches, fraternal and religious organizations, and local families.

Arranged on flat sodded terrain featuring live oaks located sporadically throughout, the cemeteries are arranged in a grid with rows of east-facing grave markers running north-south. Each cemetery is bound by either a stone wall or a metal fence, often with decorative piers at their main point of entry. Among the landscapes' many features are funereal sculptures, statues, mausoleums, arches, gateposts, and tombstones. While most of the grave markers are modest, obelisks, vertical monuments, Woodmen of the World tree-trunk markers, and other sculptures can be found throughout.

One noteworthy cemetery in the district is the 3.7-acre rectilinear San Antonio National Cemetery. Established in 1867, the site is entered from the south through a double-door wrought-iron gate supported by four simple block piers each capped with a stone urn. The grave markers are set in rows disrupted by two large vehicular roundabouts and large live oaks on the periphery. Although infrequent, burials do still occur at the cemeteries. The Eastside Cemeteries Historic District and the San Antonio National Cemetery were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.