The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

October 1, 2008

Archaeologist to help local historians preserve old New Garden Cemetery

One of Limestone County’s oldest and neglected cemeteries may soon have more headstones.

The Limestone County Historical Society called an archaeologist from the University of Alabama to search for unmarked graves at the old section of New Garden Cemetery near Elkmont.

Stephen Jones, a field archaeologist, used a probing tool to search for gravesites in the cemetery.

Since becoming caretakers of the old cemetery, member of the Historical Society, have cleaned the site and are attempting to preserve existing headstones.

Despite their efforts, “the cemetery is in a severe state of disrepair due to vandalism and vehicles running into the cemetery,” which is located at a turn in New Garden Road, said Linda Nelson.

Nelson said the society “desired a professional assessment of the cemetery to help with the preservation and restoration.”

Jones estimates there are 150 graves in the cemetery, many of which are unmarked.

The Old New Garden Cemetery is one of the oldest in Limestone County and is on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register, Nelson said.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the upkeep of the cemetery may mail contributions to Limestone County Historical Society, P.O. Box 82, Athens, Ala., 35612.

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