Celebrating Texas Independence
A Leadership Southeast Texas Project
Foreward by Carol Skewes
Members of the Leadership Southeast Texas (LSET) Class of 2013 chose to clean up the Patton Cemetery on the Bolivar Peninsula as their beautification project. Members include: Project Leader Tom Osten of the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Crystal Beach; Alana Inman, Manager of the Sam Houston Regional Library & Research Center, Liberty; John Paschall, President of the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas, Beaumont; Cindy Wright of the Industrial Safety Training Council, Baytown; Tony Sims, Chambers County Treasurer, Anahuac; and Carol Skewes, Publisher of The Vindicator (Liberty County) and The Anahuac Progress (Chambers County). The Bolivar/Chambers/Liberty Counties LSET group held a work day Sat., March 2, 2013 at the Patton Cemetery near Crystal Beach. Before 1940, Crystal Beach was known as Patton Beach.
What began as an effort to take care of some neglected gravesites turned into a “pay it forward” experience for one unexpected guest. As members of the group, joined by members of the Lions Club of Bolivar Peninsula, were pulling weeds and clearing overgrown brush from the 90-foot square cemetery, they came across an old tent and foam mattress pad. The items went into the trash pile, but a long-haired gentleman walked up and said they belonged to him. His name is Keith.
Keith no longer resides in the cemetery, but said he had lived there for about a year, under the graciousness of Bobby and Tracy Mistrot, owners of an adjoining property, where they operate the Fun Spot Waterslide on Bolivar Peninsula. Keith said he no longer needed the tent and mattress. He now has new lodgings with a friend.
Keith worked for hours Saturday along side our volunteers helping to clean up the cemetery. When asked why he was helping that day, he simply replied, “I want to pay back my debt. This is how I can help. If it were not for Bobby, I would not be here.”
Only three gravestones remain on the property. There is another area marked off that may be a grave, but it has no stone. Two other graves are mentioned in “The History of Patton Cemetery”, written by Floyd Hunter, CLICK HERE FOR LINK. The gravestones, however, were stolen and never returned. According to Hunter, “During (or prior to) the early 1990’s a group of people vandalized this cemetery and some of the grave markers were stolen.”
As of March 2, 2013, the stones have never been returned. If you have any additional history or family connections to the Patton Cemetery, please let us know. Email either: [email protected] or [email protected]
Carol Skewes is the Publisher of The Vindicator (Liberty County) and The Anahuac Progress (Chambers County), and a member of the LSET Team.