Efforts to clean up Tate Cemetery appreciated by the families, the community

Published 9:20 am Friday, December 30, 2016

December is not normally the time when you think of yard work.

Usually, the grass is not growing. The weeds are taking a few weeks off and kudzu is thankfully not advancing on any new territory.

But some yard work Wednesday was a welcomed sight for one part of Vicksburg, and to the legacy of a number of families with Vicksburg connections.

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Through a contract with the City of Vicksburg, crews from Quality Cut Lawn Service cleared in and around gravesites at Tate Cemetery Wednesday, removing an eyesore on one of Vicksburg’s busiest thoroughfares and in the meantime, giving the 111-year-old cemetery attention it so richly deserves.

For years, past city administrations have talked of cleaning up the cemetery, but ran into roadblock after roadblock.

But, thanks to the work of the current Board of Mayor and Aldermen, a local bill was passed in the Legislature, giving the city the ability to move in and clean the overgrown cemetery located on South Frontage Road near Holiday Inn and El Sombrero Restaurant.

Warren County tax records indicate the cemetery, listed as “Cemetery-Jonestown or Tate,” was started in 1905, when the area was known as the Jonestown community.

It would not be a surprise that many driving South Frontage Road on a daily basis did not even knew a cemetery was located so close to the frontage road, or to businesses.

Years of neglect had taken its toll on the property as weeds and grass had grown over the headstones.

This administration has taken Vicksburg’s appearance very seriously. With the work city leaders have done on focusing on dilapidated properties, cleaning up and maintaining tree and flowerbeds on city streets, Vicksburg looks good to the many visiting.

We truly appreciate the city’s efforts to clear and clean Tate Cemetery.

We are certain the families of those buried in the cemetery do, too.