By Sherri EllingtonRestoration work on the Greenwood Cemetery will continue thanks to the efforts of the Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association. The association grew out of efforts begun by the Azalea Garden Club to beautify and repair the cemetery. Some future projects will be funded by the Community Foundation.Hedy Cauthen and Linda Akins spoke to Barnesville city council about the groups’ efforts to clean up the cemetery, which was established in the early 1800s. The earliest grave there is marked 1837.In the 1980s improvements began when the roads inside the cemetery were paved, said Cauthen. Recently the Azaleas received a grant and beautified the resting place of town founder Gideon Barnes. The new nonprofit cemetery association, which the organizers hope will become perpetual, can now accept tax deductible donations to continue the work.’We want to revive and preserve it,’ said Cauthen. ‘There has been work done by the club also on the Great Day of Service, and Barnesville maintains the graves. Aldora recently repaved the streets.’The GCPA held its first meeting in June, she said. While it is still in the planning stages, the 10-member board is advised by city manager Kenny Roberts. Current projects are improving the entrance and restoring ironwork. Landscaping is set to begin in spring. In the future, the group hopes to see brick columns along city streets surrounding the cemetery, later to be joined together with iron fences. They are also seeking a flagpole.’Families can pick a project to donate to,’ she said. ‘The Sons of Confederate Veterans have already cleaned up the Confederate section. They identified 20 of 45 unmarked graves and ordered markers for them.’With the cemetery so old, many grave sites can no longer be tended by family members, said Akins. ‘They’re in poor condition and we’d like to improve that.’Some of the markers are so worn they cannot be read, said Cauthen.Mayor Peter Banks noted Barnesville has all of the graves in the cemetery on GPS, making it easier for families to find older graves.
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