I thought that you might be interested in reading a newspaper release that I just prepared.
Letter to Editor,
For many years, most of our pioneer cemeteries in Oconee County have been neglected. Some can no longer be seen or visited because of all the scrub
brush that has overgrown them. A good example is the old Providence Baptist Church (est. 1851) cemetery that is located just east of Tokeena. You can stand within 4 feet of a tombstone and not be able to see it.
Frequently, Boy Scouts make an effort to clean up neglected cemeteries. One Eagle Scout candidate in Clemson is now restoring the historic General Andrew
Pickens Slave Cemetery on the Clemson University campus. He has cleaned the area, remarked the graves, and arranged for the installation of a new fence.
Just recently, the State of South Carolina passed a new law that pertains to the preservation and protection of cemeteries. This action is basically due to the efforts of Carlie Butts, who has been struggling with a landowner who is refusing him access to the old Silas Butts cemetery in Brasstown.
2003 South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 6, Chapter 1, General Provisions Article One, Section 6-1-35. Preservation and Protection of Cemeteries.
(A) Counties and municipalities are now authorized to preserve and protect any cemetery located within its jurisdiction which the county or municipality determines has been abandoned or is not being maintained and are further authorized to expend public funds and use county or municipal inmate labor, in the manner authorized by law, in connection with the cemetery.
(B) As used in this section, the term "preserve and protect" means to keep safe from destruction, peril, or other adversity and may include the placement of signs, markers, fencing or other appropriate features so as to identify the site as a cemetery and so as to aid in the preservation and protection of the abandoned cemetery.
In summary, this new law clearly states what the State of South Carolina is willing to do in order to help preserve the memories of past loved ones - you even have the backing of the SC Attorney General's Office. Now it is a matter of whether you want to put forth an effort to preserve these memories.
Paul M Kankula - nn8nn
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