MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) – A Magnolia, group has asked Pike County for help in maintaining a historically black cemetery.
The Enterprise-Journal reports the cemetery is on 2.71 acres and is separated from the main Magnolia Cemetery by a chain link fence.
The 15-acre Magnolia Cemetery is maintained by its own association.
“People are buried out there from the 1800s,” Celia Gordon Pearson, president of United Cemetery
Association, told supervisors this past week. Pearson said there is a lot of history out there. “I’m just going to have to get someone to go with me plot by plot and tell me who’s buried there.” She said she’s not even sure what the name of the cemetery is. It has no sign.
Pearson said she believes at least part of the African-American cemetery is owned by the United Cemetery Association, which was apparently organized in 1969. The association has 15 members who pay $12 per month, too little to maintain the area, she said. “The stones are laying over to the side, and it’s awful to let it stay like that,” she said.
Board of Supervisors attorney Wayne Dowdy said state law appears to authorize the town of Magnolia to take over maintenance of the cemetery, no matter who owns it. Dowdy – who is also the Magnolia town board attorney – said he will check with the attorney general’s office.