Wood County, Texas
of Texas Coordinator: Brenda E.
provided by the State of Texas Atlas Site
3.5 miles NW of Mineola on US 69
Originally known as the Big Spring Cemetery, this burial ground first served pioneer settlers of the surrounding rural community. It was formally set aside for burials in 1860 when Matthew Cartwright, a prominent landowner from San Augustine County, conveyed seven acres at this site to the Big Spring Baptist Church. The grounds were later enlarged through additional donations and purchases of land. Although many of the earliest gravesites here are unmarked, they include those of individuals associated with the church, the community school, which closed in 1913, and the San Springs Masonic Lodge No. 365, which was organized in 1873 and disbanded in 1892. Among the oldest marked graves is that of pioneer settler Thomas Ship (1796-1863), who served as an early trustee of the cemetery operation. In 1927 the burial ground was deeded to the Big Spring Cemetery Association by John Harris, a trustee of the church, which had disbanded two years earlier. Sometime later the association and cemetery were renamed Sand Springs. Still used, the burial ground contained over 1000 graves. The site of an annual June homecoming, it now serves as a reminder of the area's rich heritage. (1982)