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Saving CEMETERIES

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By Cindy Simpson

Nestled in the woods and overgrowth next to the old Harriman Baptist Tabernacle on Old Roane Street hides numerous old graves.
The old church and fellowship hall is across the street from the current church building.

Church member Ralph Magill hopes someone in the community will step forward and identify someone responsible for the graves or offer to help fix up the overgrown plots.
“If they want to send us any paperwork. If they know anything about it,” Magill said.
He’s got a passion for helping fix up old cemeteries that need repair, caring deeply about the final resting places of those forgotten.
“It could be some slave graves in here, and most of it is black people,” Magill said of the graveyard.
He guesses the oldest graves could be 100-125 years old, and there may be hundreds of plots.
He said they have only one marker for a corner to indicate the size of the yard.
He said someone put a flag at one of the graves at one point, so he hopes whoever placed the flag may know something about the cemetery.
The last person buried there was a veteran, Magill has been told, and is buried somewhere directly adjacent to the old church, away from the main graves.
Magill said historians have documented as many names of the buried as they can.
He asks anyone who knows about the cemetery to mail to P.O. Box 1028, Harriman TN 37748.