Revival for troubled Montgomery cemetery

Lincoln Cemetery used to be covered with high grass, trash and litter, and exposed human bones.

But there's been a revival for the property.

"You see groups here at least twice a week now," says Phillip Taunton.

Taunton oversees many of Montgomery's cemeteries.

He and a handful of other preservationists serve on the new Lincoln Cemetery Rehabilitation Authority--a committee created by the city council to delay any further deterioration.

Volunteer groups have worked to clean up the cemetery nearly every weekend for a year.

"We want to show respect to their graves out here and keep them in the best condition that we can," says Taunton.

"I've been working trying to get something done about this cemetery since the 1990s," adds Phyllis Armstrong, also on the rehabilitation authority.

Since Armstrong's mother died, she's had a love for preserving cemeteries, and believes Lincoln is finally on the right track.

"We are moving forward.  We're gonna move forward. We're not going to let this thing go down," she adds.

One of the big problems at Lincoln Cemetery is teenagers uncovering old graves and looking inside to see remains. Preservationists are currently working on a project to stop it.

"It is a big priority," adds Taunton.

The committee hopes a vault company will donate slightly damaged covers to put over the open graves another way to keep Lincoln Cemetery looking sharp from here on out.

"It would stop the vandalism," adds Armstrong.

Committee members hope to get a radar device that would show them where unmarked graves are.

If you'd like to help clean up, there is a group meeting August 20th at 8am.

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.