Collaboration between the City of Nacogdoches and Stephen F. Austin State University has resulted in a $250,000 "Preserve America" grant from the National Park Service for cemetery interpretation. The grant was awarded to the City of Nacogdoches based on a proposal prepared by a team of city officials and SFA faculty members across various disciplines, including forestry, education, history and sociology. The city and university are contributing a matching share, for a total project cost of $500,000.
The first objective of the project is to build upon existing Geographic Information Systems data to create a model cemetery-interpretation program for the Oak Grove and Zion Hill cemeteries in Nacogdoches. Once established, genealogy researchers and heritage tourists may access the program online to learn about the historic cemeteries and the people buried in them.
"Ideally, someone in another state who is interested in genealogy or heritage tourism could go to the Web site and call up a cemetery of interest, click on a particular gravesite and access information from various sources," said Dr. Theresa Coble, associate professor of forest recreation and interpretation at SFA.
"They might find a picture of the tombstone, a newspaper clipping of the obituary, photos of the person buried there or even a link to a virtual tour of the entire cemetery - all in one place."
You can read more at the KTRE web site at http://www.ktre.com/Global/story.asp?S=9938309&nav=2FH5.