I’ve asked my friend Tui Snider to guest post for me today. She is a travel writer specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cultural traditions, and quirky travel destinations. Tui will be coming to Denton to the Emily Fowler Central Library on Sunday, June 8th at 2:00 to talk about fun things to do in North Texas (some of them are included in her Amazon bestseller called Unexpected Texas). I’d love for you to meet Tui, so come on down!
Interesting Cemeteries in North Texas
Hello! And thanks, Shelly, for letting me be a guest on your blog today. Shelly and I share an interest in historic cemeteries, so I thought I’d talk about some of the most interesting graveyards I’ve explored in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.
Weirdest Grave Marker: Aurora Space Alien Grave
The most unusual grave marker I have ever seen was in Aurora, Texas. I say “was” because, alas, this unique headstone was stolen in 2012. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s the story:
In April of 1897, a Dallas Morning News article claimed that a mysterious cigar-shaped object crashed in Aurora, Texas. According to the reporter, townsfolk discovered a tiny humanoid body in the wreckage and buried it in their local cemetery. Plans to have the body exhumed have been repeatedly stymied, partly because Texas State law requires permission from the deceased being’s next-of-kin. If, as many believe (and as the on-site Texas State Historical Marker claims) the little body buried in Aurora Cemetery is “not of this world” then finding its next-of-kin is going to be quite a challenge!
I recently met Steven Hudgeons of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and he said I’m one of the few people to have a decent photo of the alleged alien’s most recent headstone before it was stolen. For more information (including a link to a History Channel investigation) check out Alien Grave in Aurora Cemetery: The Roswell of Texas?
Most Playful Headstones:
All talk of extraterrestrials aside, Aurora Cemetery is a beautiful place full of shady trees and bluebonnets in the spring. Although most folks drop by to look for the space alien grave, Aurora Cemetery is home to other unusual grave markers. One is an over-sized cowboy boot made of stone that doubles as a large vase.
If you head over to the newer section of the graveyard you can find other shoe-themed headstones. I’m not sure whether the Walker family was simply riffing on their name or if they just loved footwear, but one of their family member’s headstones features an English style riding boot, while the one beside it showcases a women’s pump style shoe, both made from solid black granite. For more information check out Quirky Headstones: These Boots were made for Walker
Quirkiest Cemetery Statue: Jesus in Cowboy Boots
Speaking of footwear-themed headstones, there’s one in Paris, Texas that really takes the cake. It’s a 21-foot monument with a statue of Jesus, who – instead of being barefoot or wearing sandals – is clad in cowboy boots! Many theories surround this statue: Was it a joke? Blasphemy? Or was the sculptor simply bad at depicting feet? No one really knows, but if you are ever in the Paris, Texas it is definitely worth swinging by Evergreen Cemetery to see the Jesus in Cowboy Boots for yourself!
But wait, there’s more!
North Texas is full of fascinating historic cemeteries! I could go on and on… I could tell you about the pretty marble angels in Athens, buried treasure in a Fort Worth graveyard, a chilling murder memorial in Euless, or even how a historic cemetery in Boyd has links to the Mickey Mouse Club… but I’ll leave it at that for now.
I’d love to meet you. Come say hi on Sunday, June 8th!
If you live near Denton, Texas then look out, because I am coming soon to a library near you! Yup! I will be in Shelly Tucker’s neck of the wood on Sunday, June 8, 2014. I’m giving a talk about fun things to see and do here in north Texas, so if you’ve been bored, antsy, or just ready for a road trip, pop over to the Emily Fowler Library (502 Oakland St, Denton, TX 76201.) At 2 o’clock sharp I’m sharing all sorts of fun things to see and do here in north Texas. I’m also giving away a signed copy of my book Amazon Best Selling travel guide Unexpected Texas to one lucky audience member. Hey, it could be you!
Check out my Offbeat Travel Guide
If you can’t make the talk, check out my Amazon Best Selling travel guide Unexpected Texas. It’s chock full of fun things to see and do within a day’s drive of Dallas and Fort Worth. Not only will it cure summertime boredom, but most of the places mentioned are very budget-friendly.