McCree Cemetery, located near Walnut Hill and Audelia, is currently moving forward with restoration efforts thanks to a $200,000 grant received by Dallas Preservation last fall 

The cemetery, which was established 148 years ago, contains headstones of Lake Highlands’ pioneer families — Goforth, Jackson and Church, to name a few — but it also contains unmarked graves, broken headstones, dead trees, and is only accessible by back alleys.

In order to begin addressing restoration efforts, Dallas Preservation contracted with Versar, an environmental and construction management group, in January.

To learn more about what the preservation efforts will entail, I contacted David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas.

Preziosi communicates via email that the project requires a vast amount of research. To start, Versar and Dallas Preservation are working to record existing conditions, initiate historical research, and perform an archaeological reconnaissance survey.

He says that historical data will be collected through archival research and oral histories. Next, a landscaping plan that maintains the cemetery’s historic character and integrity will be developed.

Dallas Preservation is also working with Texas Cemetery Restorations to document markers, map markers, make recommendations for marker repair, and prepare an application for state designation of the cemetery.

Preziosi says that the work by Versar and Texas Cemetery Restorations that we can expect the preservation work to be finished sometime this summer.

As for those grave markers that are in disrepair, Preziosi says that cost, and “whether or not we can get permission from the owners of the individual markers to do the work,” might determine whether markers are able to be restored.

Perhaps most exciting of all, Dallas Preservation is planning a workshop sometime this fall on cemetery preservation. The workshop will feature McCree Cemetery not only as a case study for educational purposes, but a piece of Lake Highlands’ living history.

Read more about the history of the cemetery in Carol Toler’s original article, here.