Community support can restore historic cemetery

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 18, 2015

To the editor:

Recently, Mark McCann came out to Beulah Cemetery with James Brown, and with his personally-owned heavy machinery to fill in and level many sunken graves. Just the two of them .

Together, and in one day, they achieved an entirely new appearance of that cemetery. After many decades of effort, and with the constant help and support of Mayor Flaggs, Beulah Cemetery is not only regularly cut to maintain its visual beauty and navigable paths, but is now embarked on leveling graves and cleaning tombstones, a effort and visible result of the continuing interest in that cemetery and in the African American history that it both shelters and shrouds.

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But with its history as the final resting place of so many distinguished local African Americans, and with its status on the National Register of Historic Places, it should be a prime tourist destination and attraction.

Mr. McCann first came to Beulah this past July 3rd, when he accompanied Sheriff Martin Pace, who sang for our celebration of veterans buried there.

And when he saw what needed to be done, Mark volunteered, together with his church group, to help in any way they could. It was a rarely-equaled act of generosity. Thank you, Mark.

Now, because of his efforts, everyone can see the progress.

It’s no longer just start-and-stop to keep the grass at bay. It’s a genuine, sustained effort at restoring Beulah Cemetery.

We have ready and regular help from AmeriCorps volunteers.

We have just purchased our own heavy-duty chainsaw for continuing the work. Ernest Galloway and Walter Sheriff re-built the old cemetery shed themselves.

There have been over 25 “controlled burns” this year alone of rotted limbs and large debris. We are going to build a fence around the Cemetery.

For all these reasons, we are asking the Community for more support. If just 50 people and 50 churches give $50 once a year, it will give us a budget of $5,000 with which we can buy machinery and equipment that we need; buy supplies; pay for added labor; make needed and unforeseen repairs.

And come to the cemetery like Mark McCann did. With heart and hands to help.


Yolande Robbins


The Beulah Cemetery Restoration Committee