Coronado (or La Luz) Cemetery

Hover over photos for a description of the photo.

Lehman High School NHS President Diana Gomez works on up-close cleaning of the Francisco Coronado gravesite

In one of its first test cases of implementing the Texas Historical Commission’s “RIP Guardian Program,” the Hays County Historical Commission is working to organize a group of interested volunteers to help restore one of the county’s most endangered cemetery sites. The Hays County commission is one of three counties piloting the program, Hill County and Uvalde County being the others. Guardian Program Specialist Anne Shelton presented an October 18, 2006, public orientation to the program and with the help of Hays Co. Road Engineer Jerry Borcherding, the Lehman High School National Honor Society, and Austin surveyor Floyd Ward of Accutex, work is currently progressing on the cemetery’s restoration.

Lehman Honor Society students twice turned out for work in the cemetery during the 2006-2007 school year, during which time their Guardian Program application was prepared and submitted to THC. That application was approved by the state commission in the Spring of 2007 and it is hoped that the group’s community service will lead to a public discussion to draft a long-range master plan for the cemetery’s upkeep.

While students are out for the summer, there is currently a continuing need for volunteer service at the site, its most unique (and difficult) feature being the long-documented presence of a hard-to-control stand of cane over approximately half of the cemetery.

Streetside (eastern) view of Coronado Cemetery prior to restoration start, October, 2006   Prior to restoration effort start-up, an old, thick stand of almost inpenetrable cane hid numerous gravesites, including three cast-iron grave enclosures no more than ten feet into forground of this photo.   Lehman High National Honor Society member Edith Diaz slices away at a forest of cane at the NHS December, 2006, workday.

Lehman NHS member Jacqueline Robles provides hadn-trimming care to a Coronado Cemetery gravesite in her group's "RIP Guardian Program" workday in March, 2007   National Honor Sosiety members at th group's first cemetery clean-up day at Coronado cemetery in November, 2006, included (L-R) Jacqueline Robles, Edith Diaz, Diana Gomez, Joan Robles, Randolph Gamez, Thomas Murphy, Camille Mohle, and Heather Reynolds.   National Honor Society members from Lehman High School participating in the group's second "RIP Guardian Program" workday at Coronado Cemetery, held in March, 2007, included, L-R: Ricky Saiz, Randolph Gamez, Manny Calderon, Mallach Gallegos, Jacqueline Robles, Edith Diaz, Lisa Padron, and Diana Gomez.

This beautifully hand-crafted marble tombstone, broken into several pieces, is currently receiving professional restoration and will be returned to its original site in the fall of 2008.   The handcrafted marble tombstone, almost lost to time and disintegration, was professionally reconstructed by stone conservator Don Hudson and returned to its site at Coronado Cemetery in the fall of 2008.