On FM1855 just north west of Marble Falls in the small town of Fairland, Texas sits the Crownover Chapel and Fairland Cemetery. The Church was build in 1870 and a small wooden school house was added to the back of the building. But the room was removed at some point.
Crownover Chapel and Fairland Cemetery – History
“Backbone Valley’s first public building, started 1859 on 7-acre tract donated that year by heirs of settler Jefferson Barton. Finished 1870, chapel was named for the Rev. Arter Crownover (1810-76), whose preaching of Methodist faith opened its use. Building soon also housed a school. The nearby cemetery was in use by 1872. A school room was added but later removed. Chapel now bears original appearance, and is used as church and community center. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1972” – historical plaque
Crownover Chapel and Fairland Cemetery – As of April 2015
Late in April 2015 a photographer friend and I took a road trip to explore Texas Hill Country and West Texas and photograph Texas Wildflowers and abandonments. After finishing up at the Bluebonnet house in Marble Falls, Texas, we were heading west towards Kingsland, Texas when we accidently came across a small chapel and cemetery. We took a quick detour to scout out the site and see if it was open to the public and a good location to shoot even though it was misting.
What we found was a simple but beautiful little stone chapel and old cemetery blanketed with bluebonnets. For my friend it was another chance to explore and photograph a new site. For me it was worth a lot more. But I will save that explanation for later.
Outside, the walls are stone with a new metal roof and wood doors (might be refinished). The stones look to be locally sourced and installed with great care and craftsmanship that you would have seen from that era. The outer walls were built to last.
The inside still has its original floors and possibly the old church pews as well. The interior is very simple. Even the old upright piano is simple in design. The interior is in good shape but could use some dusting and maybe a paint touch up.
What I Found
After exploring the chapel I went out and walked the cemetery as I always do when exploring an old and unfamiliar cemetery. I found a mixture of old grave sites that dated back to the mid 1800s with a few buried in the 2000s. Like many of the of the graves I see throughout Texas and the south, there was a mixture of Freemason and Woodsmen grave markers along with regular grave markers.
But what makes this cemetery different from the other Texas cemeteries that I have explored and documented, is I stumbled on a family plot of my extended family! From what I believe they might be cousins on my great great grandfather Felix Hibler’s (who lived near Burnett, Texas out on a ranch) side of the family. But I really do not know and its just a guess for now. I didn’t even know we had family that lived in that area. At some point, I will reach out to that side of the family. I recent confirmed this by a Hibler Cousin a few years ago. He said the Hibler family is large and there many Hiblers buried throughout Texas Hill Country.
I had planed to share photos of Felix and the family photos of hill country ranching, but sadly they were lost when our family farm house burned down a few years ago.
If you know anything about the Crownover Chapel and Fairland Cemetery, have images, or who to contact about learning more about the chapel and cemetery please contact via us email, commenting below, or messaging us on our Facebook page.
NOTE: This article will be updated as more information is found. For more pictures of the Crownover Chapel and Fairland Cemetery check out the full gallery on my personal blog.
Please Note: The pictures were taken back in April 2015 and the original article was posted on November 9th, 2016 to VanishingTexas.com. VanishingTexas.com is no longer affiliated with us. All content from that site is slowly being migrated and updated to this site. This article was updated on April 1st, 2020 and will continue to be updated as new information is found.
About the Images
The images were shot as another large storm system was coming into the area. The shots were taken by hand and tripod with my Sony Nex-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 lens. I then edited the images in Adobe Lightroom. Next, I post processed with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten, and bring out the details in the images. Then I removed the dust spots. Finally, I used Topaz DeNoise to remove the noise from the images.