Cleanup scheduled for Cedar Grove Cemetery

Published 5:47 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

A historical Carter County location will be in for some tender, loving care this weekend.
Earl Stone has been actively involved with the Elizabethton IDEAS Group and is helping spearhead a weekend cleanup of Cedar Grove Cemetery on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m.
Weather could potentially be a factor, according to Stone. Inclement weather could postpone work but if the weather holds up, excitement continues to brew for the day.
“I guarantee (if the weather holds up) it will be a few of us making an effort to make a big difference there, even if just for a few hours,” Stone told the Elizabethton Star Wednesday. “The cleanup is open to the public and any or all who’d like to participate. I will be working to get the job done, even after the cleanup. Next task is to backfill any sunken graves, and rest any leaning or overturned gravestones. These actions will take time and willpower. Each of us have the ability to make a big difference.”
Since arriving to Elizabethton roughly nine years ago, Stone has taken a vested interest into the surroundings in the community, including Cedar Grove.
“I’m not a native to Carter County, I’m originally from Northeast Louisiana,” he said. “I saw the story of Cedar Grove on the news and it struck me to help anyway possible, and as soon as possible. The best part of this is actually having help, input and assistance from the community. I’m intrigued, excited and blessed.”
According to the historical marker located at Cedar Grove, the location was established as a “colored cemetery” in the early 19th Century. Resting at the location are some of the county’s early African-American families, church leaders, veterans and the county’s last known slave, Josephine “Aunt Jo” Taylor, a slave of Nat Taylor — the father of former Tennessee governors Alf and Bob Taylor.
State leaders have recently been working with the county to help situate the location. Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford has recently offered the department’s assistance in maintaining the cemetery.
“He has a few other great ideas for the cemetery, too, to help with it and its history,” Stone said.
Individuals wanting to get involved with the project can contact Stone at (423) 512-0517.

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