Caldwell Co., Ky. Cemetery Board
Cemeteries Cleaned - Spring 2010
Old Fredonia Cemetery
Centerville/Livingston Church Cemetery
A Huge Thank You !!!!
to the Caldwell Co., Ky. Cemetery Board and all Volunteers
for your hard work and dedication!!
Grave discoveries expand bounds of Fredonia plot
Saturday, April 24, 2010
A fire set to burn a pile of limbs and trees cleared from the Old Fredonia Cemetery this month has
revealed more than the volunteers behind the project had bargained for.
Underneath the bed of vegetation on the cemetery grounds, left untouched for decades, workers
discovered numerous additional graves, marked with simple, unmarked sandstones.
Cemetery researchers had known the graves existed, but had no idea the stones were also in place.
“You can’t identify anybody, and there’s no records, I don’t reckon,” said Fredonia’s Don Boone, who helped organize the cleanup effort. Work days were held in February and earlier this month to bring the cemetery in order.
The goal was to have the cemetery cleaned and neat in time for a ceremony honoring a Revolutionary War veteran buried there.
That ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 2, at that cemetery and the nearby Livingston Presbyterian Church Cemetery (also known as the Centreville Cemetery).
During the course of clearing the Old Fredonia Cemetery on April 10, volunteers set a large burn pile alight to get rid of the cleared wood.
A change in wind direction caused the fire to spread to a section of woods nearby.
“We just had to let all this section around here go,” Boone said Monday.
When the fire had burned out, volunteers took a look at the cleared ground around them and found the previously-hidden graves, sunken spots in the ground accompanied by their crude markers.
“It was just grave after grave after grave,” he said. “We knew there were 100 up here, but there’s a lot more than that.
“The leaves were so big and so high that most of these we weren’t even seeing.”
The discovery means the cemetery, already one of the largest in the area, is even bigger than researchers once thought.
“It’s just big,” Boone said. “And what really kills you is the fact that it’s been abandoned.”
Among those volunteering to clean the cemetery was Susie Miller, whose father, Marion Driver, was the last documented burial at the cemetery.
Driver was buried there in May 1940, she said.
Oral accounts by others indicate the last actual burial in the cemetery occurred in 1947 or 1948, but no written record or grave marker has been located, Boone said.
Driver’s headstone has deteriorated over time, and only its bottom half is still standing.
Other family members buried nearby have their graves marked with sandstone, like those recently uncovered.
Miller, Boone, the Caldwell County Cemetery Board and the other volunteers who cleaned the cemetery did so with the same purpose: honoring the final resting places of some of Fredonia’s earliest citizens.
“There’s just too many people out here to just forget about. That’s for sure,” Boone said.
The Oct. 2 dedication ceremonies for Revolutionary War veterans in both cemeteries will be conducted by the Gov. Isaac Shelby Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, with assistance by the Gen. John Caldwell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ken and Peggy Gilkey and others.
A reception will follow at the Fredonia Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Fredonia Revolutionary War Grave Marking Ceremonies
Fall 2010 Cemetery Cleanings
Beck Cemetery - 2 days