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Old 03-02-2010, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
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Interesting article. Certainly not a unique problem.

Old plots, now in the way - STLtoday.com (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/6E2DD7AFF28182C5862576DB000E268A?OpenDocument - broken link)
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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What a touching story.. I imagine there are thousands of family cemeteries all over the country. It is nice to know they are being cared for in some places.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:04 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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I discovered some of my ancestors in Mass. had been moved from their original burial sites so someone could build an apartment complex.

They couldn't build it somewhere else?
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
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Developers boggle my mind sometimes.

I've heard of tombstones being thrown into ditches so developers could build something on top of the graves. I'm sure not all developers would do that, but for some, money means more than respecting the dead.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Technically, it is the job of a town to maintain a cemetery if the cemetery fails (NY State). We have many, many small cemeteries in small towns which are cared for by towns. Also, it is illegal to build over a cemetery; there is a development being built in the town I live in where an 1830s cemetery is located on the property. [3 boys got their Eagle Scout rank by cleaning it, fixing stones and also fencing it.]

Obviously, the same rules don't apply where you are.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:09 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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I'm glad to hear when a cemetery is well cared for or restored.

Makes me mad as hell when people vandalize in them.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:32 AM
 
12,585 posts, read 13,992,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLCardsBlues1989 View Post
Developers boggle my mind sometimes.

I've heard of tombstones being thrown into ditches so developers could build something on top of the graves. I'm sure not all developers would do that, but for some, money means more than respecting the dead.
That was done with a graveyard in my family. The land had been sold over the years, and one day someone leveled it and began construction of a house. I'm wondering how many skeletons were dug up in the process of digging the basement.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:35 AM
 
12,585 posts, read 13,992,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloTransplant View Post
Technically, it is the job of a town to maintain a cemetery if the cemetery fails (NY State). We have many, many small cemeteries in small towns which are cared for by towns. Also, it is illegal to build over a cemetery; there is a development being built in the town I live in where an 1830s cemetery is located on the property. [3 boys got their Eagle Scout rank by cleaning it, fixing stones and also fencing it.]

Obviously, the same rules don't apply where you are.
In the small town where I came from in NYS (LeRoy) these abandoned old cemeteries have been cleaned up and adopted by local people.

I doubt very much if the people doing the work are at all related to these early settlers, but they do their work out of respect for the history of the village and its past villagers. I admire them very much for this.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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kevxu -

A cemetery board (the financial trustees) is supposed to turn over the records to the town when they can no longer maintain the cemetery. This has happened to the cemetery where 2 sets of my husband's 3rd g-grandparents and one set of his 2nd g-grandparents are buried. The cemetery was closed, for the most part, in the 1930s.

I think if it is a family cemetery, often this is entirely hidden and sometimes not even noted on the town maps. The best thing for you to do is notify your town (or a town where any cemetery is dormant) of its existence. I saw that in our own town -- a tiny family cemetery was in a plot of land sold to a quarry and the quarry built a road thru the cemetery, not knowing it was there until they turned up the stones. At least they saved the stones (even though they broke some) and had the area marked.

The cemetery the boys cleaned up ( weeded, graded, removed and cleaned stones for, fenced and made a sign for) is now kept clean by either the boys or the town.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
7,363 posts, read 12,898,157 times
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In the late 40s, early 50s, my dad worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the clearing of land along the Tennessee River in western Kentucky, that would be dammed up to make the largest man made lake, by acreage, east of the Mississippi River. This included moving entire towns. This was done on the Cumberland River about 10 years later, forming Lake Barkley. One of my dad's jobs was working to relocate graves. In an area as big as this, people were buried in family plots by their homes. When the ground was graded for clearing and also for new roads, more graves were found. Daddy said it was easy to find where the graves were. There would be a large rectangle of darker soil than the rest of the area. My dad's crew would be called in to dig up the graves and "relocate". By the time some of these graves were dug up, there wouldn't be much but 2 or 3 bones left. These bones would be put in a coffin and reburied. If there was a stone, or if they could find out who it was, a "relocation" stone was erected at the new site.
Every fall there is a group of people who go out in the 170,000 acre Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area looking for unmarked graves. They always went after the killing frost where all the greenery was dead the graves were easier to find. They would have an area to check where a graveyard was thought to be. With all the grass and weeds dead, they could find graves by sunken areas on the ground. This group goes out with weed eaters, bush blades and chain saws to clear the area. There is a company that makes small concrete unmarked grave markers. After clearing the area, these stones are put in place. My wife says this group has been doing this every fall for 10-15 years. These newly found grave yards are recorded and turned in to the historical societies and courthouses.
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