Gardening Among the Graves
Landscape gardening in the
Historic Old Section
Every Tuesday (weather permitting)
Bring your tools!
Second Sunday Stroll
Historic Old Section
Sept. 14, 2014, 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Gazebo
The Friends of Decatur Cemetery (FODC), founded in 1993, is a dedicated volunteer group that works closely with the City of Decatur and its citizens to preserve, maintain and improve the cemetery and educate the community about its importance as a historic and cultural resource.
Today FODC continues to advocate for the preservation and improvement of the 58 acres of green space that make up the Decatur Cemetery, the oldest municipal burying ground in the area. The group continues to explore better utilization of the space as a treasured environment within an urban setting. With the implementation of a recent master plan, there is high anticipation that our cemetery will become an even greater treasure.
- Veterans Day: Decatur Cemetery contains graves of veterans from every war from the American Revolution in 1776 through the most recent engagements in the Middle East. On the first Saturday in November, volunteers place US flags on the graves of over 1,000 veterans resting in Decatur Cemetery. On Veterans Day, November 11, at 11 am, an inspiring service of remembrance is held in conjunction with the Harold Byrd Post 66 of the American Legion. Contact Amy Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Second Sunday Strolls: Decatur Cemetery is the resting place of many citizens who helped create the communities we know today as Decatur, DeKalb County and the state of Georgia. To preserve this history, educational tours are conducted on the second Sunday of every month, May through October. Tours begin at 2:30 pm at the well house/gazebo in the Historic Old Section. Suggested donation: $5.00. Special group tours can also be arranged by contacting FODC at email@example.com.
- Volunteer Workdays: Volunteers currently meet every Tuesday morning (weather permitting) for “Gardening Among the Graves”, from 9 am to noon, to weed and garden in the Historic Old Section. Volunteers also meet periodically on other days for general clean-up, pruning, weeding and planting. Participants have included community groups, church groups, civic organizations and local high school classes. Agnes Scott College students and faculty regularly schedule workdays at Decatur Cemetery. Bring your tools! For more information contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Photo Contests: FODC periodically sponsors seasonal photo contests. The winning photos are announced in the Decatur Focus and displayed in the newly renovated cemetery office and other City buildings. For more information contact Nancie Sill at email@example.com, coordinator of the event. Up to five photos of the cemetery can be submitted. Watch the Decatur Focus, the FODC Facebook page, or this page for the next contest.
- Gravestone conservation: FODC coordinates annual visits by a professional conservator to repair damaged gravestones in the Historic Old Section. In addition FODC uses approved conservation techniques to clean selected gravestones.
- Shared Memories. Enduring Legends: Recording the stories of Decatur Cemetery . . . because every life is worth remembering. FODC invites you to share information about those you know who are buried in Decatur Cemetery by participating in this project. We have a brief questionnaire available to help you get started. You may download the file here.
Other Projects and Accomplishments involving FODC:
- In 1997 Decatur Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- The 1881 gazebo was restored, with subsequent painting and repairs to keep it a centerpiece of the Historic Old Section.
- The gravesite of Miss Emily Pittman (c, 1852) was restored, with repairs to both the tomb box and the lovely ornate cast iron fence.
- FODC worked with the City of Decatur to create a self-guided tour brochure for Decatur Cemetery. These can be obtained at the Cemetery Office, the Decatur Welcome Center, or downloaded here.
- FODC arranged the use of ground penetrating radar to locate several unmarked graves.
- FODC worked with the City of Decatur to select cemetery management software. This will allow the public to access information online, and will enable the FODC to attach stories from the Shared Memories, Enduring Legends project to individuals’ files.
- Several members of FODC helped to host the Georgia Municipal Cemetery Conference in Decatur in 2012.
- The veterans memorial at the Bell Street entrance was restored with support from the City of Decatur and Harold Byrd Post #66, American Legion.
• Clean-up and Gardening
• Tour Guides
• Historic Preservation
• Website and Social media
• Shared Memories, Enduring Legends Project
FODC members are eager to welcome new members who share a passion for the preservation of such a beautiful, peaceful place. Those interested in joining or volunteering may contact FODC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodpecker photo above by Gerald Huggins.