Macon Georgia and Bibb county contains many Family and private cemeteries. Cedar Ridge is only one of many such cemeteries that have been forgotten for many years. These resting places contain some of Macon's pioneer ancestors including city and county significant political persons. It is regrettable that many graves located in Cedar Ridge are unmarked, leaving us to wonder who lies beneath the sod.
In the late 1800's a prominent Macon man of the W.E.Jenkins family owned much of the land in south Macon. This was a sparsely settled area of Macon, and many families could not afford resting places for their loved ones. The W.E. Jenkins family set aside about 5 acres of land to be known as Cedar Ridge Cemetery. For years some of Macon's wealthy as well as some poor families buried their loved ones on the site. Before 1896 this cemetery contained many unmarked graves, some only unmarked mounds of dirt, some with rusty ornate fences with a few bearing a family name. Some only have bricks laid east to west to mark the resting places. In the years that followed, grave stones and markers began to appear as monuments to those buried beneath. The years have taken its toll on all of the wooden markers and nature took over the entire five acres with growth of trees, vines and weeds and trash of all kinds.
In 1986 Walter and Jean Ard began to clear the area that covered virtually all of the graves with the exception of a few that bordered the road and had easy access. The Ards cleaned and exposed graves and records were made so that some history could be put together for information of those interested. It is from those records and others researched at the Washington library, that this historical information has been preserved. The Ards could not convince the city to take charge of caring for Cedar Ridge as it had been declared a “private cemetery” and the Ards eventually could no longer do it themselves.
(Extracted in part from Ards Journal in Washington library)
Fast forward to 2008. The mother's day tornado of May 2008 was devastating to Cedar Ridge Cemetery. Many large trees were uprooted and destroyed many of the memorials. It left large woodsman of the world stones lying on their sides, other headstones turned over or damaged by fallen trees, and general destruction through out the area. At the time, no one had assumed responsibility for upkeep of the cemetery. Almost a year later, February of 2009, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert tasked the city folks to clean up the tornado damage. Since that time until June, 2015, one or two descendants of those buried there have taken on the task of maintaining it. The city still refuses to take charge of it.
Thanks to the dedication of Loy Leon Campbell who inspired the Ards, and the Ards who inspired those two individuals, Cedar Ridge is now mostly clear of trash and Mother nature's growth that constantly threatens the loss, once again, of this historical cemetery.
Many Confederate, Spanish American, WW1 and WW2 veterans are interred here. Their resting places should never be allowed to vanish into mother nature's grip again.
As of June 2015, Cedar ridge is 80 % cleared and as always, needs attention. Any relative/descendant of those buried there is cordially invited to lend a hand to maintain this abandoned resting place of their ancestors.
GPS Coordinates: 32.80871, -83.64976
- Added: 5 May 2001
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #463647
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