“Normally the cemetery is only cleaned up once a year,” said Connie Cantrell, “for Decoration Day.”
“The people buried there need more honor that they were getting,” she continued.
So Cantrell and the Hillcrest Cemetery Board made flyers and asked area churches to help in the effort to get the work done. The cemetery has no traceable ownership and is not kept up by the City of Piedmont or any other official group.
That is until the Hillcrest Cemetery Board was formed in the spring of this year. The group, chaired by Joanna Gamble, is working to gather information about those buried in the historical cemetery that dates back to the 1800s. It is also working to raise funds for the future upkeep of the cemetery. Donations from area residents and descendants of those buried there have been used in the past and were limited.
The board has requested all area funeral home directors contact them before any burial is made.
Cantrell says that the earliest marked grave the resting place of William Woods who was born in 1836 and died in 1895. She estimates there are some 200 unmarked graves in the cemetery. Anyone with information about those unmarked graves is encouraged to share their knowledge with a member of the board.
“When we come together as people in Piedmont, we can do so much more for our community,” said Cantrell.