Thursday, July 18, 2013

It took a Village

Fellowship Cemetery, on the outskirts of Taylorsville, is home to over 2,300 gravesites and three Magnolia Trees The largest tree, almost in the center of the cemetery, has stood watch and shaded the graves of some of my ancestors for 90+ years. (Thanks to an article in Southern Pine's monthly 'Today' paper, I was able to determine the approximate age of the tree.)

My mother's Aunt, Missouri "Zude" Hester Fewell, to shade the final resting place of her parents and siblings, and finally her own grave, planted the old tree.

Magnolia Trees while beautiful are also extremely messy, and the trees in Fellowship Cemetery are no exception to this rule.
Recently, while searching for tombstones for the Find A Grave website, it was apparent that the people paid to keep Fellowship Cemetery mowed were ignoring the areas under the Magnolias. Not only was the area covered with dried leaves, and dried seed cones, an undergrowth of weeds, briars, brambles, small bushes, and smaller trees had begun to take over the ground and the graves.

As I began to try to pull up some of the weeds, I knew this was a project bigger than I was. I turned to Facebook to post photos and spread the word, and volunteers soon began to emerge to offer time, tools, and much-needed help.

Marilyn Woodard was the first to offer assistance. Larry Robinson and all his equipment, Sammy Scoggin who drove down from Brandon, and Darren "Tuttie" Prince from the Mineral Springs community quickly followed suit and within a few hours, the areas under the trees were almost pristine. Danny Woodard completed the task of hauling away the almost 40 bags of trash and armloads of limbs.

Graves long covered by the undergrowth were now visible. The old cemetery and it's "residents" could now rest in peace. People had come together to restore the area. It had taken a village. 
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