With grants from the Collin County Historical Commission and emergency funds from the city of Plano, crews have finished cleaning up and repairing the historic Young Family Cemetery after it was damaged by an EF-0 tornado one year ago.
“A small tornado developed and touched down just southwest of here and came right through this small acre,” Candace Fountoulakis with The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. told KXAS-TV (NBC5). “You couldn’t even see the monuments. We had no idea what kind of shape they were in.”
Major damage was reported at the cemetery, located at Independence Parkway and Sam Rayburn Tollway. Winds tore down trees and branches, fencing was toppled and headstones were damaged. One of the gravestones was shattered.
Some of the city’s first settlers are laid to rest there. Founded in 1847, the cemetery has 51 marked graves. Its honors include a Texas Historical Marker and Historic Texas Cemetery medallion, according to published reports about the cemetery.
For 10 years, volunteers with the Young Family Cemetery Association have worked to maintain and restore the cemetery. Years of their work was reversed after the tornado rumbled through the area on Oct. 20, the same night a series of destructive tornadoes hit North Texas.
The cemetery helps give people a connection to the past, Fountoulakis told KXAS-TV.
“The last burial here was in 1929, so Plano has changed a lot in almost 100 years,” she told the TV station.