SAN SABA, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – San Saba’s football stadium is full of history and not just because of the memories made via the Friday night lights, but because the stadium once served as the town’s cemetery.
Since 1856, this lot of land has belong to the Rogan family. This football field was once a graveyard for civil war soldiers and early settlers up until 1878, when commissioners court stopped all new burials. In 1935, SSISD was donated this land from the Rogan family. In that same year, the city set to remove all bodies, monuments, tombs, grave markers, shrubs and trees.
But according to Ronnie Shulze, San Saba HS Football coach, some of these bodies were not removed due to not having family members to claim. Most of these people now rest in city cemetery. Shulze learned this from a past friend named James.
“He said that he remembers the bulldozers coming in to clear the land, and a few of the bodies remains didn’t get claimed so they just bulldozed the tombstones in and left them there… there wasn’t many,” Shulze recalled.
Before the land was cleared, the city had reached out to the families of 18-25 gravestones and asked for them to relocate the bodies. Not everyone claimed these markers and it is unknown how many remain today.
Jake Lackey, San Saba resident, said the school use to use the fairgrounds as a stadium before the school got the land. There was controversy on whether the graveyard should be used as a stadium in 1935, but the Rogan family wrote a letter telling the community that since citizens did not keep the area cleaned up, they should allow SSISD to have the land and look after it.
“Well, you can’t help it, kinda have that feeling, especially if your on the graveyard and on Halloween or Friday the 13th… Knowing that there’s actually remains of San Saba City citizens under us, were the only ones that can say we built our football stadium on a legitimate graveyard,” said Lackey.
Today, many citizens have called the stadium ‘The Graveyard’ and have hung up signs. Many stories have spread about this unique place, although it is hard to tell which ones are facts and which ones are myths.