[ For my FREE book about cemetery symbols, click here. The following article is an adapted excerpt from my travel guide to haunted places called, Paranormal Texas. Full disclosure: it’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy stuff after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you. Win/win, right?]
Oakwood Saints and Sinners Tour
What do you get when you combine live theater regional history and a beautiful texas burial ground? Why the Oakwood Cemetery Saints and Sinners Tour, of course!
Every October the North Fort Worth Historical Society chooses interesting characters from Oakwood Cemetery’s residents to “bring to life” through well-researched performances by costumed historians.
2020 Consolation Prize!
Unfortunately, if you’re watching this in 2020 then I must tell you that there is no cemetery tour this year. (I’m sure you can guess why!) But that’s why I made this blog post and video. Since we can’t go this year, consider this a consolation prize!
I’ve been going to the Oakwood Cemetery Saints and Sinners Tour in Fort Worth, Texas since 2015. I’ve taken so many photos (and even a little bit of video.) I hope you enjoy this little blog post and companion video that I’ve put together. (To see the companion video, click this link or the image below: Oakwood Cemetery Saints and Sinners Tour.)
Cemeteries are Open-air Museums
I often say that historic cemeteries are open-air museums. That’s what I love about the Oakwood Cemetery Saints and Sinners Tour. It really brings history to life in a special way.
The performances are often quite funny, but some will bring tears to your eyes. I learn so much each year. I wish more historic cemeteries had tours like this.
Fort Worth is “Where the West begins”
Since Fort Worth is considered to be “Where the West begins,” these tours often give you a glimpse into Wild West history. You’ll learn about cattle barons, oilmen, gunslingers, cowboys, soldiers, suffragettes, shopkeepers, and more!
There’s even a section called Bartenders Row where Wild West saloon workers are buried. Another plot is nicknamed Soiled Doves Row. A soiled dove is a euphemism they used in the 1800s to describe what we would call a prostitute or sex worker today.
I go into more detail about the ladies in Soiled Doves Row, Bartenders Row, and other historic people in Oakwood Cemetery in my new book, 6 Feet Under Texas.
Faro versus Poker in the Wild West
One year I learned how to play Faro. I’d never even heard of it before! Faro is the card game you see people playing in Wild West movies. I always thought it was poker, but Faro was a very popular card game for gamblers.
And get a load of those guys’ mustaches! That’s a major commitment to history, am I right?
Unique casket “elevator”
Whether you go before or after your tour, make sure you visit Oakwood’s Chapel. Not only will you see some really gorgeous stained glass windows. but they have a rectangular door in the floor up by the altar that has a rather unique function.
In the old days, caskets were stored in the basement where temperatures were naturally much cooler. When it was time for the memorial service, they would raise the casket up through this rectangular door in the floor. Clever, eh?
Drop by my table and say hi!
I know it can be crowded, but when you come to the Saints and Sinners Tour you better stop by my table and say hi. Not in 2020, of course, but in the future.
I am a member of the North Fort Worth Historical Society and you can usually find me sitting with my husband, Larry, in the shade selling books and enjoying a really fun day at Oakwood Cemetery.
Is Oakwood the “John Smith” of cemetery names?
You’ve probably heard that John Smith is the most common name in America, right?
Well, I sometimes joke that Oakwood is the “John Smith” of cemetery names because it seems like every big city has at least one burial ground named Oakwood Cemetery.
How about you? Is there an Oakwood Cemetery near you? Let me know in the comments below.
Are historic cemeteries your happy place?
If, like me, historic cemeteries are your happy place, drop by my new store, GraveHour Gifts.
Plan your trip to Oakwood Cemetery’s Saints and Sinners Tour
To visit Oakwood Cemetery: You can visit Fort Worth’s Oakwood Cemetery year-round. The address is 701 Grand Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164
To learn the spooky-but-true history behind a whole bunch of haunted places in North Texas (including Oakwood Cemetery), check out my travel guide: Paranormal Texas.
READ MY BOOKS: To see a list of all my published books, check out Tui Snider’s Amazon page.