Voices of South Texas: Old Bayview Cemetery Comes Alive

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - The past and the present will collide at the Voices of South Texas event on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Park located at 1581 N. Chaparral Street. This year, the kick off will include guest speaker, Corpus Christi native and actor Lou Diamond Phillips. Phillips is best known for his role of Ritchie Valens in the drama film La Bamba and his role in the Academy-Award nominated movie Stand and Deliver. 

More than 30 storytellers, re-enactors and experts on local history will tell the story of many who were laid to rest at Old Bayview Cemetery. There will be walking tours of Heritage Park homes, live folk music, re-enactors with South Texas Historians, and food trucks.

On Saturday, November 4, 2017, the cemetery will feature walking tours from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The walking tours chronicle the history of the region. The cemetery includes veterans from the War of 1812 through the Spanish American War. 

“Old Bayview Cemetery is Corpus Christi.” said District 1 City Councilwoman Carolyn Vaughn. “Much like our city, those who are buried at Old Bayview are representative of all cultures -- Hispanic, African-American and Anglo –and it is one of the few, if not the only, cemetery from this era which has that distinction. Those who are honored at this reenactment represent people who made a big difference for our region, many with great accomplishments that most of us never realized, and others, simply because they lived and died to make Corpus Christi what it is today.”   

Old Bayview Cemetery was created by Colonel Hitchcock during the occupation of Zachary Taylor's forces in 1845 and the first U.S. military cemetery in Texas. It is located at Ramirez Street and Padre (IH-37) next to Coles High School. 

“The Voices of South Texas events are an excellent way for us to celebrate our history here in Corpus Christi,” said Jay Ellington, Director of the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department. “I hope our community and visitors alike will take advantage of this wonderful celebration of our past.” 

La Retama Library will showcase lectures from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2017 where guest lecturers will provide a history of the Coastal Bend.  

Voices of South Texas is sponsored by Humanities Texas, Friends of Old Bayview Cemetery, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department, Corpus Christi Public Libraries, and the City of Corpus Christi. Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

There is no cost to attend the event. For more information, call (361) 986-1268.