Hidden Tomb Stones Uncovered in Grand Saline - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/07/03 - Grand Saline

Hidden Tomb Stones Uncovered in Grand Saline

A historic find in Grand Saline. Crews recently tore down the old Ice House building and found seven marked tombstones from the late 1800s. The dates on each stone indicate they were engraved for children under three years of age.

"We plan on following a paper trail to see if we can find any descendents of any of these families in the courthouse role," says historian Elvis Allen. Though the stones date back to 1885, archeologist Floyd Kent says after digging four feet across the site, he's found no evidence suggesting a graveyard ever existed.

"There was no trash in it, there was no indication of any grave outlines in the entire area," he says. "I do not believe it was a cemetery, I believe these stones were brought in from some other area."

The popular theories include: vandals moved the stones to the site; a caretaker dumped the stones after erring on the name spellings; or dirt shipped to the site during the building's construction carried the stones with it. The building, itself, went up in 1927.

So far, only one of the grave markers has been traced to a living descendent. What researchers know for sure is all the stones are in the same style and all died at a time when the infant mortality rate was high. "It's very interesting," he says. "Every time you come up with an answer you find three questions."

The Grand Saline City council will decide Monday night where the stones go.

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