Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Study Underway

I stumbled across this the other day doing a search for something else.  It’s good news and something I’ve set up as an alert to track for updates.  From the Downtown Neighbors column at staugustine.com dated August 13, 2008:

Matthew Kear (pronounced “Kerr”) is pursuing his master’s degree in historic preservation and planning at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He is the young man we have noticed over the summer.

Matthew is from Gainesville and received his undergraduate degree from University of Florida. His master’s thesis will be a preservation plan that will outline the maintenance and an interpretive guide to the cemetery. Matthew told us that Charles Tingley, director of the St. Augustine Historical Research Library, says there could be up to a thousand burials within the old grounds. Carl Halbirt, City of St. Augustine archaeologist, states there are probably ancient burials beneath the Indian burials.

This cemetery was described by Spanish engineer Don Antonio Arredondo in 1737 as “The Little Chapel of Our lady of Guadalupe for the Tolomato Indian Mission, a bell tower and burial grounds.” These burial grounds are the present Tolomato Cemetery on Cordova Street near the Oldest Drug Store. Today the cemetery lies in the center of the historic district surrounded by homes and bed and breakfasts. It is four properties north of our home. It is also a favorite haunt of the ghost tours almost every evening after dark.

Read the entire column at staugustine.com.

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