I just got the opportunity to visit the Old Mt. Hermon Cemetery in Bedford Co on May 8. They were holding their annual "Decoration Day" visitation. It was very humbling experience for me. I had just moved to TN this past year and so for the 1st time am able to visit the places where my ancestors have lived.
Let me tell you a short story about the Old Mt. Hermon Cemetery and its caretakers who have saved this cemetery.
A couple of years ago Sam Hart, another descendant of Henry Hart, went to visit the cemetery. He "finally" found it and was amazed at the condition it was in. Old Mt Hermon cemetery was in a shambles, uncared for, neglected, and by all standards, it was just plain "abandoned". Sam tried to find out why the cemetery was not being taken care of because he could look across the street and see that the "new" cemetery was being mowed that very day. The "New" cemetery was not suffering from any neglect at all. Of course the person mowing the new cemetery just replied that he "got paid to mow this one and not the old one".
I personally have to place the "fault" of the abandoned nature of this cemetery right at the feet of the Mt. Hermon Church, who will surely have a lot to answer too come judgment day. The very people that started their church were lying under a rubble of trees, weeds and rot. The very people that made it possible for them to sit in a quaint, antique and well respected church had allowed this to happen. I'm just very surprised that the church would even "allow" the old cemetery to get in such a state, when every Sunday they would have to look at it. I know that there is no church that I've ever attended that has let their cemetery go like this.
With all this said - I can now tell you about the caretaker who is taking care of it now. Sam Hart, stepped up, found out what had to be done, did it, and has spent more money out of his own pocket, than most of us make in a year, just getting the old cemetery back in shape. He's had help from his friends of Old Mt. Hermon, and those who care enough to do something. Old Mt. Hermon now has a bronze plaque with the engraved names of the people that they know who are buried there. There are not doubt more - unknown people, that we'll never know about. The cemetery literally "shines" now. Its mowed on a regular basis, people are planting flowers and putting in decoration, and bringing back the memories of their loved ones. You can walk through it now - when but a few years ago you would not have even been able to find it.
I left a small donation in the box - as much as I could afford, but I almost cried when a lady walked up and donated $3.00, which was all she could afford, but her's is a donation of love. So any of you have family buried there.. Click on the link below and give them your support. Although money is nice - a word of encouragement will go a long, long way.
Thank you Sam - and all your friends, for giving us back a part of our heritage.
Christine Walters/Lexington TN
GGG Grandaughter of Henry Hart
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