Archaeological Investigation of the Winters-Jackson Cemetery (41BX2245), San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas




Wigley, Sarah

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Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio


In April 2018, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted archaeological investigations at the Winters-Jackson cemetery (41BX2245). The work was at the request of Mr. Everett Fly acting as a representative of the San Antonio African-American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) and with the cooperation of the property owner’s representative, Arthur Zuniga of Fasken Oil and Ranch, Ltd. The cemetery consists of 0.66 acres located within a 69.155-acre private tract of land owned Fasken Oil and Ranch, Ltd. This tract is located at the northeast corner of Nacogdoches Road and State Loop 1604 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The project did not require a Texas Antiquities Permit from the Texas Historical Commission, and as no development is planned, it does not fall under the City of San Antonio Unified Development Code. The work was conducted by CAR staff Jason Perez, Megan Brown, and Sarah Wigley. Sarah Wigley served as the Project Archaeologist, and Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux, CAR Director, served as Principal Investigator. The cemetery was in use from at least 1876-1937, according to the dates inscribed on the current gravestone at the Holy Cross Cemetery. In 1986, the previous landowner, Morton Southwest, arranged for the non-permitted relocation of human remains and headstones to the Holy Cross Cemetery on Nacogdoches Road. The purpose of the archaeological investigation was to determine whether or not any remains or grave goods had been left behind in backdirt piles left on the northern portion of the site after the relocation. CAR staff walked the property in order to identify any surface remnants of the cemetery, screened as much of the backdirt as possible in order to recover any remains or grave goods left behind, and excavated four backhoe trenches around the boundary of the property in order to explore the potential for graves outside the known cemetery boundaries. No subsurface testing was conducted within the cemetery boundaries. Human remains, mortuary hardware, and personal items were recovered from the backdirt. Potentially diagnostic artifacts are consistent with the time period that the cemetery was known to be in use, ranging from approximately 1890-1920. Notes, photographs, and records generated by the project are on file at the CAR, and the artifacts and human remains will be returned to the landowner and/or to the SAAACAM. No graves were located outside the cemetery boundaries. The site has been designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery (BX-C313). In addition to the cemetery, the CAR also recorded the presence of a prehistoric site within the APE. Lithic tools, cores, debitage, and burned rock were recorded, but no temporal diagnostic or prehistoric features were observed. The CAR recommends that the area be protected and a buffer zone established. CAR also recommends that any ground disturbing activities in the cemetery should be avoided until the presence or absence of articulated human remains within the site boundaries is established.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, archaeological surveying, excavations, Bexar County, San Antonio, cemetery