A final resting place united some residents of Steele’s Store and several other Brazos Bottom communities – Canaan Cemetery. The cemetery was connected with at least two churches and several communities. Military service records of those buried at Canaan indicate they came from Steele’s Store, Stone City, and Hall’s Addition freedom colonies.
The Texas Freedom Colonies Project is supporting doctoral researchers Annaliese Dempsey and Rachel Matheny as they document and digitally preserve archaeological materials including headstones as well as more ephemeral grave markers and grave goods from the cemetery. The archaeological data from the cemetery will then be used in conjunction with descendent interviews to create an anthropologically-informed history of burial practices in the Brazos Valley. Canaan Cemetery is a body archive that provides a window into the freedom colony life in the Brazos Valley in the century following emancipation.