Friday, June 6, 2014

Cemetery log date: May 17, 2014

Hello there #CaDiMers! You're looking lovely today. I'm really excited to tell you about Pablo Cemetery, near Mayport, FL, as it was the site of our most recent CRPT training. It has also been known as the Mayport Cemetery, and  originally as the Dewees Family Cemetery. Recently, both research and preservation have become hot topics at Pablo. As a local and descendant, Janet (last name) began the "Andrew Dewees project", making lots of new discoveries regarding the cemetery's complex history. She has spent years pouring over genealogical records and historic maps to uncover the true nature and extent of the Pablo Cemetery.

 Like many historic cemeteries in Florida and elsewhere, the modern fences are probably not an accurate representation of the cemetery limits (i.e. it's not unlikely that there are burials in other areas extending beyond the road, fence, etc.). Recently, Dr. Gordon Rakita of the University of North Florida (UNF) has joined the project to assist with defining the site boundaries and potentially locating unmarked burials and submerged monuments with a GPR unit. He also was present at the CRPT training and performed a GPR demonstration in the field.

CRPT Participants pose for a group shot at Pablo Cemetery 

Founding members of the Mayport region, notably including the Dewees family and relatives, Yellow fever victims, and others.

Participants try their hand at GPR data collection

Pablo is a privately-owned community cemetery just outside Mayport, FL. There is a "Mayport Cemetery Association" that maintains the cemetery.

After D2 cleaning 

The earliest known burial dates to 1881, although it's not unlikely that there could be older unmarked graves. It's also possible that nearby tributaries of the St. John's River could have swallowed an early section of the cemetery, as historic maps indicate they once flowed much closer to the modern site boundaries.

Pablo is located at the south end of Sand Castle lane, south of Wonderwood Drive. The address is technically Jacksonville, though the cemetery lies near the Mayport city limit.


-Andrew Dewees and family are buried there, pioneering settlers of the northeast Florida area around Mayport

-Lily Thomas--a lady who lived to be 108--was a Singleton of the local fishing company in town

-The cemetery has an interesting and complex history. It's known that yellow fever victims were buried there, once identified by wooden markers that have since decayed.

-An expert witness noticed stone markers being purposely buried to make room for new markers. Locating these stones is a major component of Dr. Rakita's GPR work

-A phase I archaeological survey of the area identified prehistoric toolmaking debris and a soil signature indicating a mound may once have stood on the property.

Text and Images by Ryan Harke,  FPAN staff, full credit to Janet for historical background information. 

To locate more Northeast Florida Cemetery posts, search "Cemetery a Day in May" or #CaDiM

2014 #CaDiM posts

2013 #CaDiM posts
IntroMay 1: NationalMay 2: OakdaleMay 3: Murphy's CreekMay 4: Mt. OliveMay 5: Bosque BelloMay 6: Old CityMay 7: EspanolaMay 8: TolomatoMay 9: PacettiMay 10: West ViewMay 11: Magnolia Springs,  May 12: St. Peter'sMay 13: Gravely HillMay 14: Pilgrim's RestMay 15: God's Little AcreMay 16: Dummet's GraveMay 17: No NameMay 18: St. MonicaMay 19: St. Joseph'sMay 20:  Old St. Joseph's (Duval)May 21: SampsonMay 22: Fernandez ReserveMay 23: St. AmbroseMay 24: Sons of IsraelMay 25: SanksvilleMay 26: HuguenotMay 27: Nombre de DiosMay 28: BeresfordMay 29: JonesMay 30: San Sebastian/PinehurstMay 31: Oaklynn

One Response so far.

  1. Jennie says:

    My grandparents are buried in this cemetery. I have been cleaning it up since I was a little girl. It has many of my relatives buried there.

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