Montgomery Cemetery in Disrepair; Neighbors Working to Clean It Up

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By Jessica Gertler

A West Montgomery cemetery is in ruins.  You'll see Cracked vaults, uncut grass and litter. Community members are trying to clean it up, but they need your help to make the repairs.

Westcott Cemetery was established in 1817, but over the last two centuries, it has fallen apart.

Some neighbors are hoping to restore the grave sites, because they say the deceased deserve more.

Just off Mobile Road lies a cemetery filled with 100-some graves including Brenda Watkin's grandfather's and grandmother's graves.

"I'm looking for Paul Rusty and Martha Rusty," Watkins says.

Except Watkins could never find where they were buried. She says the overgrown grass covered too many tombstones.

"What do we have to do to raise the money to try and clean," she says.

Jimmie McFarland lives down the street from Westcott Cemetery.

"That one is busted! You can see the casket in there," he says. "It is unconscious that our loved ones have to live in such squalor!"

And by squalor he means over grown grass, cracked vaults, open caskets filled with water, litter, broken flower vases and sunken graves.

"If this was a loved one of mine, I would be definitely angry," he says.

That's why McFarland has created Project Cemetery, a non-profit organization hoping to clean up and bring peace to those buried in Westcott Cemetery.

"The city won't give us anything. The state or federal government won't give us anything," he says.

McFarland says once enough money is raised, the first thing they will do is build a fence around the cemetery and then fix the open caskets.

McFarland says he is still trying to find out who owns the cemetery.

If you would like to help out McFarland's efforts, you can send your donations to P.O. Box 9126 Montgomery, AL 36108. You can also donate at any Regions Bank under the Project Cemetery fund.

If you have any questions about Project Cemetery, you can email McFarland at jimmiemcfarland@charter.net.

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