Why are grave stones disappearing? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Why are grave stones disappearing?

May 31, 2004

Coolidge - Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church and Cemetery have been around for more than a century, but parts of the cemetery, pieces of this church's history are disappearing.

"Well, I don't feel good about it. I guess it's just a sign of society," says Dorsey Shelley, whose ancestors are buried in the cemetery.

Six grave marker bases and seven foot stones were stolen this month. Why? Well, no one really knows.

Shelley says, "It's a real tragic thing, particularly when you come down here and you got an 89 year old lady and she sees that, I think it was her great grandfather, gravestone is missing."

And those aren't the only graves without markings. Some graves are marked, but have no identifying features, others are forever forgotten because wood stakes have been pulled up and tossed aside. Now, this once sacred place is slowly disappearing.

Shelley says, "It really is a sacred place and it's a shame that people don't have more respect for the cemetery than to come and take gravestones up and damage property."

And in the process, damage history. On June 12th, there will be a Cemetery cleanup at Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist beginning at 8 AM. Volunteers are needed.

posted at 5:22 PM by karen.collier@walb.com