Cave Dwellings: The little town of Lamar, TX
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The little town of Lamar, TX

This week, McGyver and I visited Lamar…It is a VERY small town, consisting of the Lamar Fire Dept., the Lamar Cemetery, and the Stella Maris Catholic Church..all part of a wide spot in the road just past Goose Island State Park. 


This little church is Stella Maris Catholic Church, and was founded and built in 1858, but not originally built on this spot.  It was built on another property in Lamar.  After being shelled by Union troops in the Civil War (sustaining little damage and surviving), it was badly damaged by a hurricane in 1919.  After repairs and restoration in the 1930’s , it was finally moved to this spot, next to the Lamar Cemetery, in 1986.    For more extensive info about Lamar, I have provided a link….Lots to be learned here…

“Founded in 1839,  Lamar became the first coastal town in (what was then) Refugio County.
Lamar's star rose and it became prosperous- that is,  until the town was destroyed by Union forces during the Civil War. Only a few shellcrete foundations remained.”..Most all of the homes and buildings built at that time were built on foundations made of this “shellcrete”, which is a mixture of crushed shells, sand, burned shell ashes and water (kind of like having a shell beach supporting your house Disappointed smile…Below is a portion of the foundation that was under the Stella Maris Catholic Church..


Just across from the little church is the Lamar Cemetery…After getting help from McGyver opening the heavy gate, we walked in and toured this great old local resting place..



Above, right are the graves of Lydia Ann Hull Wells and James Babbage Wells, Sr., parents of Jim Wells, Jr., lawyer for the King Ranch Interests and namesake of Jim Wells County.

Having lived in a cemetery most of my teenage years, (you didn’t know that??, here is a link to my blog about "living" amongst the dead), I have a real interest in old cemeteries…and much reverence for those who are resting there..We walked all over and observed some very unique stones, and some names rich in history..101_1731101_1720

Above, left, Dennis is studying the graves of the Kroeger family. Here is a little info about this cemetery.  “This burial ground originally served pioneer settlers of the Lamar community. Founded by James W. Byrne (d. 1865), a native of Ireland and a veteran of the Texas Revolution, it was named for his friend Mirabeau B. Lamar, former president of the Republic of Texas. The earliest grave is that of Patrick O'Connor (1822-54), a bookkeeper for Byrne's business operations in New Orleans. The town of Lamar ceased to exist by 1915 and the cemetery was neglected until the 1940s when it was restored through efforts by the family of John Henry Kroeger, Jr. (d. 1944).”


Notice how the spelling of the last name changed from Kreoger, to Kroeger…and the stone on the right bears the Byrne name, the same as the founder of this cemetery..Yep, I was touching everything and channeling history everywhere..We also found a few interesting sayings engraved on a few of the stones…making us smile…




That is a wagon wheel in the middle of the Warren stone…Check out the saying at the bottom…”THIS IS WHERE RED AND ALICE STOPPED ROLLING”….Ya just gotta love it…or maybe it’s just my sense of humor….







This was found on the back of one of the family stones…If you cannot quite make it out, it says “ALWAYS TRUST YOUR CAPE”….This makes me think of what profound statement I would put on my own grave marker..HMMMM…food for thought, eh?

Well, I’m sure you are tired of touring tombstones.   Lamar has it’s lively and fun side, too..This month is the 10th annual LaMardiGras, held right here across from the cemetery and church at the Lamar Volunteer Fire Dept.


We will be gone when it takes place this year, but we did go to the 5th annual LaMardiGras, when we stayed at Goose Island in 2007..Here are a few photos of it…beer and food tent, music, dancing…and lots of beads..



You may recognize the very tall, dark and handsome man in the left photo…the one with a beer in his hand..The photo on the right are the firemen who were cooking brisket and ribs as fast as you could eat them…LOTS of fun here!!

OK, I realized we have a couple new peeps in the truck again..Welcome to Forrest the Printer, and Happy Trails (Chuck and Geri)….The Cave Dwellings can be a crazy ride, so buckle up and hang on tight!…  and as for me…my butt hurts from spending waaaay too much time in front of the computer…which I might blog about at a later date!!

Definition of a computer “bug”…per Dave Barry:

BUG… “A cute little humorous term used to explain why the computer had your Shipping Department send 150 highly sophisticated jet-fighter servomotors, worth over $26,000 apiece, to fishermen in the Ryuku Islands, who are using them as anchors.”


  1. Looks like you guys had a great day touring one of Lamar's maybe you could find a little town that has a train running through it and sit and watch trains for awhile, your gonna have to get used to train horns when you get home anyway. Hope your glad I reminded you. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna......

  2. Love your photos of the cemetery! Since Bill is a genealogist, we've spent lots of hours in cemeteries. We even stayed overnight next to his Aunt Mildred in El Dorado, KS (even though she'd been gone MANY years past). Looks like you find lots to do no matter where you're at! Bueno!

  3. We love looking around old cemetery's and thinking about all the history.

  4. Like you I so enjoy touring cemeteries. I also read the stones..they tell a story of the person buried there I Red and Alice..this tells me they both were great fun during their life and had a wonderful sense of humor...she was also an easter star member and he was a mason that tells you they thought about others first and worked hard in their community:)...Kewl!!!

  5. Since you're in Texas, I'm surprised one of them didn't say always trust your horse. :)

  6. Thanks for the history lesson about Lamar and the great photos of the cemetery. Looked to be a pretty interesting day.

  7. Love those kind of places, thanks for the tour:)

  8. Love the pictures. We might come out your way and take a few bird pics when this rain stops. We are going to drive out to Lamar too. It looks like a really neat lil place to explore.

    Tell blue eyes we said "HELLO"

  9. You all are amazing. It is so touching to go through old cemetaries and imagine what those folks were like.
    I was wondering, since you have been in touch with the folks there at the Lamar Cemetary, I was wondering if you know if the plot book survived all those years. I have a great uncle that is supposed to be burried there. I looked up the cemetary and his name was not on the list. There were some graves missing their tombstones. So if they have a plot book, maybe we could find him. Any suggestion would be appreciated.