Spooky Halloween Surprise at Olivewood Cemetery: Moving Fenceposts and Stabbed Graves

Frequent Olivewood Cemetery visitor Roger Barnaby came across a disturbing discovery in the historic African-American cemetery south of White Oak Bayou between Heights Blvd. and Studemont not long before dark on Halloween: Survey markers and what look like new fenceposts, installed only a few inches from some marked graves. Barnaby tells Swamplot he’s not certain of the purpose of the posts, but believes they and the survey flags mark an intended expansion of the cemetery’s longtime neighbor to the south and east, grocery distributor Grocers Supply. “You can even see that they pounded a survey spike into one of the graves,” he notes:


The land is immediately adjacent to Grocer’s supply and situated so that nobody else could use the SW corner. . . . An interesting aside — I also learned that Grocer’s Supply won a lawsuit back in 1946 that closed off the main entrance (south) of the graveyard so that Grocer’s Supply could expand.

There are new pink survey ribbons, so it was obviously recently surveyed. My photo shows one of the spikes and ribbons. . . .

In any case, the photos speak for themselves. How can it be legal to do anything like that next to a well marked grave?

Olivewood Cemetery was established in 1875 as the first burial ground for freed slaves within city limits, but the land had served as a resting place for slaves for some time before then.

This isn’t Olivewood’s first brush with groceries in recent weeks: The 380 agreement recently approved by city council for the benefit of the Kroger planned for the other side of Studemont includes some funding for the cemetery’s restoration.

Photos: Roger Barnaby

13 Comment

  • It is a policy of mine to always pull up survey stakes wherever they are found. Or the alternative is to move the stakes.

  • This is cannot legal, nor is it moral, and I’m contacting my soon-to-be former city councilman, Ed Gonzalez,and 311.

  • Oops, not sure that is/was District C…

  • The Kroger 380 “donation” that is repaid by the City at 5.17% for Olivewood is, oddly enough, for a fence.

  • This is from The Descendants of Olivewood site:

    “In order to ensure that the security fence does not disrupt any existing and unmarked graves, archaeologists will be working with the fencing company to monitor each post hole as it is being dug. ”


    I wonder what is going on?

  • hhmmm Jules, I wonder, too.

  • Is it some sort of land grab from Olivewood? From the Olivewood website:

    To erect a fence we must first:

    Complete a full boundary survey and title search
    Identify marked and unmarked gravesites on or outside of the legal cemetery boundary
    Legally define a new boundary that includes all known gravesites
    Find funding for a fence and historically significant entrance
    Perform full archaeological survey at boundary to ensure fence post holes are clear of archaeological remains

  • If Grocers Supply is expanding into Olivewood Cemetary, they NEED to remember Poltergeist, the movie. Freaky things happen when grave sites are disturbed. Leave the dead people’s remains ALONE !

  • Don’t be messing with no graves !!!

  • You know, the former warehouse of Jake’s Finer Foods in the Heights is known to be seriously haunted- you think maybe ghosts just get hungry?

  • These new fence posts in the SW corner have nothing to do with the perimeter fence hoped for by Olivewood descendents and supporters. So, don’t confuse the two issues, Olivewood hasn’t even started to survey their grounds.

  • John C, where is this haunted wharehouse???

  • Roger, do you know where they came from?