Jackson College Cemetery is one of the most historic cemeteries in the south. It stands forgotten in the shadows of Spring Hill Tennessee, home of one of America's giant automotive industry plants. The cemetery contains the remains of many old military, stately & scholarly Americans & Southerners. Due to public unawareness and short sighted officials the cemetery's massive monuments lie fallen under the trees and bushes so thick one can hardly get back there.
Jackson College Cemetery with some improvements in the road could be made into a tourist attraction as a part of the tour of the historic Spring Hill's Rippavilla Southern Home & other antebellum homes such as Oak Lawn close by. The original founders and owners of some of these magnificent properties in Historic Maury County are buried here; notable people such as John Kennedy, one of the original signers of the petition to establish Maury County. Another very colorful family is that of Captain Absalom Thompson, 1800-1881 who built the Oak Lawn antebellum home and occupied it along with his family and descendents for many years. There are many descendents of the interred in this cemetery throughout America that would make more trips to view this old cemetery if they could and/or even knew of it.
The sad condition of this cemetery was caused by the graves and monuments being covered by thickets that invade the graves & monuments. In addition there are still free roaming livestock that possibly add to the demise. The cemetery is open without fencing and an access road. The memorials there are largely fallen having been uprooted by farm animals that rub against the stones and knock them over. There are the usual trees that spring up uncontrollably and uproot the memorials with their invasive roots while shedding destructive limbs. They come smashing down on the stones in storms knocking them down and breaking them because no one bothered to make a differentiation between the mighty Oaks and Cedars and the invasive Black Cherry & Hackberry that have such a short, brittle & brutal life.
After fifty years of decline and neglect it is high time the public take access to this cemetery and give access back to the public. An access road should be built with supporting signage and other means for the public to view this historic treasure. In this case we should stop allowing distance to the nearest public roads to bottle up and erode our historic heritage. An access road could easily be built that hardly interferes with the property of the UT Agricultural experimental facility or the private property to the east of the cemetery. Will you please help by making contact with the proper officials to get these issues corrected.
The Sons of the Confederate Veterans under the oversight of Lawrence Kenyon (2003) have taken on the task of cleaning and restoring this cemetery. They deserve thanks for the recognition of the need and subsequent action taken to begin this difficult task. They are allied with the Boy Scouts of America. Thanks are in line for Jack Taylor who serves as a Adjutant of Sam Watkins Camp #29 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and coordinator of this project and is doing a superb job of bringing the needs of the restoration effort to the forefront of the general public's attention. Other volunteers have also joined in the restoration effort of this cemetery including myself. I am applying my knowledge as a former armature archeologist for the U. of Alabama in the 1960s to raise the fallen stones. It has taken cleaning the cemetery just to recognize just how large this task looms. Today man hours are being expended and are still needed to clean the cemetery of dead and scrub trees, vines and other uncontrolled growth. A team is needed to remount the 70 + fallen stones which will consume many man hours due to the large size & number of the monuments. If you see yourself as having an interest in this cemetery and/or just enjoy a fun wholesome outdoor project please contact Jack Taylor via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jack can assist you in all the particulars of how you can help. Monetary contributions are much needed to populate a fund for things such as routine grounds maintenance and improvements to the stonework & signage. These are needed now and in the future to make this historic treasure available to the general public. The goal is to make this cemetery as beautiful today as it was more than fifty years ago and provide enhancements. Wayne Austin 11/11/2003
GPS Coordinates: 35.7078, -86.9372
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #16567
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