Old Clarkesville Cemetery Volunteer Cleanup Day this Saturday


The historic charm of the town of Clarkesville makes the town what it is, but it takes the work of dedicated volunteers to preserve that history. This Saturday, community volunteers will join the Historic Clarkesville Cemetery Preservation Corporation to clean up the cemetery.

“Old Clarkesville Cemetery, established in 1831 through a donation of land from the town by Col. James Brannon, a Methodist, is the final resting place of the people who founded this community,” said E. Lane Gresham. , president of the historic Clarkesville Cemetery. Preservation Society. “All walks of life are represented here – city leaders, former slaves, veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War. It is also the site of the first official worship space in the village of Clarkesville in 1831.”

Preserving this history of the cemetery is the company’s mission, but it cannot do so without its community.

She says community partners have a big impact on the preservation of the cemetery. The city of Clarkesville helped the preservation group locate an astonishing total of 237 unmarked graves with ground-penetrating radar, which the group plans to mark with white crosses.

“With the support of the community and several key donors, we have completed two-thirds of the fencing around the cemetery and added native plants to enhance the ambiance of the rural cemetery-garden,” Gresham said. “We also cleaned and repaired many headstones.”

Joseph McGahee unveils his “slice of history” project to the Clarkesville community in September 2020. (E. Lane Gresham/Old Clarkesville Cemetery)

Local Scouts have also helped preserve the cemetery with their Eagle Scout projects. Joseph McGahee’s Eagle Scout “Slice of History” project features a slice of a tree that grew in Old Clarkesville Cemetery, along with local and national history information.

Gresham says his brother, Mitchell McGahee, will be working on his own Eagle Scout project at the cemetery in the coming week. He plans to restore the grave of Matthew Rhodes, a veteran of the War of 1812.

The clean-up day will focus on clearing brush and branches, general landscaping and preparing the cemetery for Holy Week. The cemetery will host both the First United Methodist Church of Clarkesville’s Good Friday Crosswalk and the First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville’s Easter Sunrise Service this year.

To get involved, send an e-mail to contact@oldclarkesvillecemetery.com for more information on Labor Day and other volunteer opportunities. The working day starts at 9 a.m. and the volunteers will work until noon. Volunteers are encouraged to bring work gloves, rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows if they have them.

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