Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cemetery Repair/Inventory - Possible Source of Help

The New Garden Cemetery below is one of many examples of our family history that is decaying away or being destroyed. One avenue that individuals, historical societies, genealogy groups, etc. might want to consider in restoring and cleaning up our history is using the services of the Boy Scouts of America.

From the Eagle Scout.org website:

Eagle Scout Requirement 5: While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. The project idea must be approved by your Scoutmaster and troop committee and by the council or district before you start.

Two of the recommendations made to these scouts as possible service projects involve working in community cemeteries.

"Cemetery Directory: I catalogued all of the grave stones in our city cemetery. Then I worked with the troop to put together a cemetery kiosk where visitors could look at a large map and find the graves they wanted to visit."

"Clean up and repair headstones in an old community cemetery. 10 or so Scouts for two full days of work + Adults. Can require expertise if repairing large Monuments."

The scouts working towards their Eagle rank need projects and if you need help, these excellent youngsters in our community can be the catalyst to get your local cemetery cleaned up and/or inventoried.

You can find a local troop that might have members needing a project at

You might also want to contact the BSA Council serving your area with a request. They serve a larger area and they would have a larger pool of scouts to draw from. Locate your local council at http://www.scouting.org/councils/.

Bottom line: These future leaders need a project and you need a hand. It is a match made in heaven for restoring and preserving family history.

Old New Garden Cemetery - Limestone County AL

Photo courtesy of Evelyn Maples and Find A Grave.

From Patrick R. Thomson via the Redus Family newsgroup.

"My name is Linda Nelson and I am the Vice President of the Limestone County Historical Society in Alabama. We have taken on the Old New Garden Cemetery (in Elkmont) where William Penn Redus and a number of his family members are buried as our project. We want to save this cemetery. Where do you think would be a good website to post a request for help to save this very old and historic cemetery?"

Linda Nelson

Photo of New Garden courtesy of the Limestone County Historical Society website.

The Limestone County Historical Society website is at

And from cousin Dennis Simpson:

"I am a life member of the Limestone County Historical Society. Unfortunately, every single tombstone has been ran over by uncuth people driving their motor vehicle inside the ungated old cemetery. These people who are destroying these cemeteries, don't give a damn about people's final resting place. The Society has already started working on this project. It is a time consuming job they are doing and fixing these graves in the heat of summer makes the work unbearable. This is one project we as descendants should stand behind and help any possible way we can."