Our permanent exhibit is the historic cemetery grounds that surround the Oakwood Chapel, burial place of over 23,000 people with approximately 15,000 monuments. So much of Texas’ history is written here in stone. The Cemetery is a survey of figurative and geometric sculpture, architectural designs, nature’s changes, carved metamorphic and sedimentary stone, engraved poetry in historic fonts, and proof that we have lived and loved greatly.
Digital Exhibits and Events
Within the Chapel, we have a digital exhibit program, launching new exhibits quarterly. We collaborate with experts in our community on themes, content and events.
The Chapel’s purpose is to host funerals and memorials, therefore, all exhibits are in digital format in order to change on short notice to meet a family’s needs.
Oakwood Cemetery Chapel presents “To Relate,” a digital exhibit featured from October through December, 2021.
“To Relate” includes maps and timelines of Native American homelands of tribes that were Indigenous to Texas over many centuries. Some were Native to areas within Texas long before European settlement, some tribes were in Texas because of American expansion. The word “Texas” comes from an Indigenous word meaning ally or friend, as many tribes were collaborative with one another and settlers.
There is a National Historic Trail that goes through Austin, El Camino Real de los Tejas, part of the National Park Service, with a regional nonprofit partner for Texas and Louisiana in Austin. The original Native American trail routes developed into roads and highways, goes through cemeteries, parks and golf courses, and travels by high schools, fresh water springs, and recreation areas actively used today.
Archaeologists Sergio and Melinda Iruegas, geographer Steven Gonzales, Nicole Netherton of Travis Audubon, and musician Brian Beattie help us see these familiar places with new eyes.
Other parks and places within Austin have substantial Native American history, as Austin is within the Balcones Escarpment. Different ecosystems intersect here, creating natural resources, including Barton Springs Pool, the Lower Colorado River System, landmark trees such as the Treaty Oak, lookout points such as Mount Bonnell and trading locations such as Fort Colorado. Many place-names reflect those resources, such as Pecan Springs and Onion Creek.
The digital exhibit "To Relate" includes 5 sections:
- The Indigenous of Texas
- Who's Your Teja?
- El Camino Real de los Tejas: including video
- Native American Homelands: digital art exhibit