Humble Pipeyard Cemetery seeks historic landmark status

Charles Cunningham hopes to get the Humble Pipeyard Cemetery a historical landmark
status within two years. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
Charles Cunningham hopes to get the Humble Pipeyard Cemetery a historical landmark status within two years. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)

Charles Cunningham hopes to get the Humble Pipeyard Cemetery a historical landmark status within two years. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)

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After closing in the early 1960s, the cemetery was forgotten for decades until 2003. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
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After closing in the early 1960s, the cemetery was forgotten for decades until 2003. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
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At least two dozen graves were initially identified inside the property; however, in 2018, while working on a construction project, the city found at least 14 more graves in an area adjacent to the property. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
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At least two dozen graves were initially identified inside the property; however, in 2018, while working on a construction project, the city found at least 14 more graves in an area adjacent to the property. (Designed by Ethan Pham)
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Charles Cunningham hopes to get the Humble Pipeyard Cemetery a historical landmark status within two years. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Charles Cunningham hopes to get the Humble Pipeyard Cemetery a historical landmark status within two years. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
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There are several steps to take to get a historic designation. (Source: Texas Historical Commission) (Designed by Ethan Pham)
Nestled down a gravel driveway off of FM 1960 is the Humble Pipeyard Cemetery—a relic from the days of segregation, following the incorporation of the city of Humble in 1933. Cemetery caretakers estimate the site contains roughly 40 graves, many of which are African American residents.

Humble City Council Member Charles Cunningham, who has helped restore and bring attention to the site since it was rediscovered in 2003, said he hopes to get the site designated as a historical marker with the state of Texas.

“It’s giving those that are lying there an official peaceful rest,” Cunningham said. “It’s part of the Humble history.”

After closing in the early 1960s, the cemetery was forgotten for decades until 2003, when Cunningham commissioned the help of Scott Jones, a senior pastor of Grace Church, to help bring the attention of the city of Humble to the site.

“When Grace Church found out, ... we were a big enough congregation and had a loud enough voice that they [city of Humble] started listening,” Jones said.


From there, Jones received permission from the city to access the property and began the lengthy process of clearing the brush and debris littering the site with the help of St. Mark’s Missionary Baptist Church—something Grace Church continues to this day.

“This took a long time—we were doing volunteer labor,” Jones said.

At least two dozen graves were initially identified inside the property; however, in 2018, while working on a construction project, the city found at least 14 more graves in an area adjacent to the property, Cunningham said. He said the city is working to notify the property owner of the discovery of the graves, making it unlikely future development can occur.

A final piece of the restoration project is seeing the cemetery receive a historic landmark designation, which Cunningham said he hopes to accomplish within two to three years.

“We need some doors being opened,” he said.

Cunningham said the site would not be in the condition it is today had it not been for Jones and those at Grace Church doing the heavy lifting to see it cleaned up.

“All kudos goes to Pastor Scott and his congregation for giving these folks a peaceful rest,” he said.
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