Reinventing the Old West: Concordia Cemetery and the power over space, 1800-1895

Nancy Gonzalez, University of Texas at El Paso


Utilizing Concordia Cemetery as a framework, this study analyzes the social and economic development of El Paso County and the surrounding areas after the U.S.-Mexico War (1846-48). The cemetery was a vast commercialized zone before it was a burial ground, and silenced histories, voices, and people that lived and thrived on this land are incorporated into this work. The role of the original owners, Hugh Stephenson and Juana Maria Ascarate, as well as the Mexican networks, intermarriage and Mexican American women, and the presence of ethnic Mexicans are subjects that are also examined. In addition, this dissertation interrogates the pioneer narrative and how the Concordia Heritage Association utilizes its power to produce historical narratives that emphasizes Anglo superiority and their contributions to the economic growth of the region, while they utilize this same power to silence certain aspects of the past.

Subject Area

History|Regional Studies|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Gonzalez, Nancy, "Reinventing the Old West: Concordia Cemetery and the power over space, 1800-1895" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3623405.