Old Mill Cemetetery
Also known as: Jackson Hill Cemetery, Thomaston Colored Cemetery
- Thomaston, Upson County, Georgia, USA Latitude: 32.8993, Longitude: -84.31718
- 172 Memorials added (44% photographed)
This is an African-American cemetery. A New York Times newspaper article dated 2004 tells this cemetery’s condition and history. In the article, it was reported by one of three local African-American undertakers that he had buried over 4,000 people in this cemetery in the last 40 years. The steady decline of Thomaston's Old Mill Cemetery, which sits a few blocks from the city's historic square at the corner of the intersection of Peerless Road and Edgewood Avenue, began in the 1950's, when the last of the original trustees died. The employees from Thomaston Mills, a textile plant that nearly surrounds the cemetery, did their best to keep the briars at bay until the mill closed in 2000 and the buildings abandoned. More recently, there was an attempt to restore this old cemetery without much success, when only $150 came from the community after asking for funds. Both the city and the county have been asked to manage the cemetery without any takers. Even in the cemetery’s condition, it is still being used as a Potter’s Field with one or two burials a year. The original deed, filed a year after the end of the Civil War in 1866, described the grounds to be the final resting place for Confederate “soldiers only”, yet there are no military markers documenting Confederate graves. When questioned about this by the New York Times reporter, elderly former mill employees claimed no bodies were ever seen being removed from the cemetery. This means if Confederate soldiers were buried there, they are still there in unmarked graves. When the undertaker was questioned about the ownership of this old cemetery, his replied, “Thomaston’s Colored People own it”. He claimed 200 more empty plots are available for burials, while local genealogists believe the cemetery is full and maybe new sites are being shoveled opened in old unmarked graves. The cemetery was not planned in rows but done in a random disorganizing manner making a challenge to locate an empty site or for historians to document an accurate survey. The Daughters of Mary and Martha Society, a mutual-aid society started by the ladies of St. Mary African Methodist Episcopal Church in the 1880s, did provide funds in the past for decent burials in the cemetery; hence some old tombstones have this society’s icon. Today, the cemetery is overgrown with weeds, briars and vines, infested with snakes in the summer, has empty beer cans among the broken grave markers and many sunken graves causing uneven ground in red Georgia clay.
GPS Coordinates: 32.8993, -84.31718
- Added: 18 Jan 2011
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2385076
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