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Huntsville: The Prisoner's Cemetery by John Wells

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
John Wells John Wells
Explore score
0.60 Gigapixels
Date added
Feb 17, 2009
Date taken
Feb 15, 2009

Nikon P5100


Properly known as Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery, this 22 acre plot has been used to bury inmates since the 1850's. When no one claims the body of an inmate (25% of such deaths in recent years) the state buries them at 8:30 AM, Monday through Friday.

This photo depicts the entire history of the cemetery. Many of the earliest graves are lost and unmarked, as the original headstones were of wood. Those that have since been found have been re-marked with a blank concrete cross. Graves from the early 20'th century are marked with a concrete tablet, often engraved with the name and death date. The burials from that era seem to be segregated, as a distinct section of Hispanic surnames exists in the northeasterly part of the gigapan. Modern markers are slightly larger and made from concrete. Instead of a name, the deceased inmate's prison number and death date are impressed in the cement.

A few graves stand out. Lee Smith was a cowboy who died in the system. Other inmate cowboys contributed funds to purchase a traditional gravestone for his burial site. Also of note is the initial burial place of Satanta, a Kiowa Indian chief. In 1874 he committed suicide while in the system. He was buried in the prison cemetery until 1963, at which point his remains were moved to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma and reburied in a traditional Kiowa ceremony. Throughout the gigapan are other graves of some note. These are marked with an "X," or "Ex," followed by a number. I believe these are the graves of prisoner's who were executed. The number, I feel, identifes their place in the sequence of executions for the relevant time period.

More information: www.txprisonmuseum.org/articles/cemetery.html Will open in a new tab or window

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Stitcher Notes


GigaPan Stitcher version 0.4.3510 (Windows)
Panorama size: 600 megapixels (87516 x 6863 pixels)
Input images: 105 (35 columns by 3 rows)
Field of view: 360.0 degrees wide by 28.2 degrees high (top=11.3, bottom=-17.0)
All default settings
Original image properties:
Camera make: NIKON
Camera model: COOLPIX P5100
Image size: 4000x3000 (12.0 megapixels)
Capture time: 2009-02-15 16:50:36 - 2009-02-15 17:07:39
Aperture: f/5.3
Exposure time: 0.00833333
ISO: 64
Focal length (35mm equiv.): 123.0 mm
Digital zoom: off
White balance: Automatic
Exposure mode: Automatic
Horizontal overlap: 35.1 to 69.6 percent
Vertical overlap: 35.0 to 35.9 percent
Computer stats: 1023.48 MB RAM, 1 CPUs
Total time 4:37:02 (2:38 per picture)
Alignment: 33:46, Projection: 21:36, Blending: 3:41:40

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