Parking for Garland Memorial Park is available in the lot of Williams Funeral Directors on the south side of the building or on the access road at the south end of the cemetery.
Begin the tour at the southern tip of the Knights of Pythias section, which is west of the railroad tracks and east of Garland Ave. on the south end of the cemetery closest to Miller Road.
Be respectful. These grounds are sacred to the memories of the people buried here.
Be aware of your surrounding. Old walkways can be uneven and loose underfoot.
Stay off monuments, as they can be fragile.
Leave no trash. Whatever you bring in, take out.
Well-behaved dogs on leashes are always welcome in the cemetery. Please clean up after your pets.
Visiting hours begin at 8 a.m. daily and end at sunset.
Garland Memorial Park
The final resting place for many Dallas County pioneers, this cemetery began in the churchyard of Duck Creek Methodist Church, a congregation organized in the 1850s. The graveyard includes sections established by the Duck Creek Masonic Lodge (1883) and the Knights of Pythias Lodge (1900). The oldest marked burials date from the 1870s, although earlier death dates appear on graves relocated here from another cemetery. Interred here are local, state, and national elected officials, victims of the 1927 tornado, and veterans of conflicts from the War of 1812 to the present.
Garland Memorial Park is located at the intersection of Garland and Miller Road. It is currently divided in to 4 editions including, Knights of Pythias, Garland Memorial Park I (Joyce Edition), Garland Memorial Park II, and Garland Memorial Park III (Marion D. Williams IV Edition).
Knights of Pythias
The Knights of Pythias Cemetery was established March of 1900 and is divided into 4 sections. There are many resting places for early pioneer families in this addition. This section is known for its large developed trees and classic grave markers.
Records in this section are incomplete due to the Knights of Pythias organization not providing the originals. Current records were assembled by survey of existing headstones.
Two trees in the Knights of Pythias section of the cemetery have been classified champions by the Texas Forest Service and listed with the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition.
In 1995, the Shumard Red Oak (Quercus Shumardii) was designated Texas Forest Service Metroplex Champion, meaning the largest of that species known in all of Dallas, Tarrant and eight adjoining counties. With a height of 70 ft, this specimen had a crown spread of 95 ft and a trunk circumference of more than 14 ft at chest-height. One of the oldest living things in the Garland area, the tree once sheltered hitching posts for mourners in the horse-and-buggy days.
Unfortunately, this near 200 year old fixture became sick with a wood decay fungus (Ganoderma applanatum) along the tree's root flare. After several years of drought conditions, the tree also became infected with hypoxlylon canker, another opportunistic pathogen. The tree declined rapidly and began to pose a serious safety risk to cemetery visitors as well as traffic along South Garland Road and was eventually removed on November 8, 2011.
Few other trees of its kind exist in Texas as it is native to the U.S. Pacific Coast. Legend has it W.B. Bell planted seeds possibly brought from California by cousins near the family plot around 1832. The Knights of Pythias fraternal order began developing acreage as a cemetery around 1900, when the tree was around 70 years old.
The Incense Cedar (Libocedrus decurrens) standing 90 feet south earned the Texas Forest Service State Champion designation in 1998, because there was none larger registered in Texas. At a height of 63 feet the cedar boasted a crown spread of 29 feet and a trunk circumference of 90 inches at chest-height.
Gravestone rubbing supplies are available at the Garland Landmark Museum every Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Before you set off to rub your favorite gravestone there are a few things you must understand about old graveyards and cemeteries. First, they are places to commemorate the dead and you should be respectful of this.
When selecting a gravestone to rub avoid rough stones, eroded or damaged stones, or densely lichened stones. Rubbing a stone that is deeply engraved or has a high relief will tear the rubbing paper. If the stone is flaking or has been damaged, avoid it. It’s hard to get a good rubbing from a damaged stone. And very easy to deface or damage a stone if the paper tears and gets wax on the stone.