COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Agnes and Manuel Young remember what the Rosemount Cemetery use to look like.
“It was all grown up,” said Agnes. “You couldn’t even find the rows.”
There was a time when Manuel would gather men from the Columbia community to come out and clean.
“They did that for years,” said Agnes. “They’ve taken a plot. Everybody comes…you come in that three day window so it doesn’t look so bad if you cut and the other one doesn’t cut, so it really worked.”
African Americans couldn’t be buried in the cemetery just feet away, so Rosemount is where they were laid to rest.
“Several soldiers are buried here,” said Agnes. “Several slaves are buried here.”
History, stories, and those volunteers are what John Pointer remembers here as a kid.
“I would see volunteers working constantly in the hot sun, cutting grass, digging graves,” he said. “It just stayed in my mind that we’ve got to always preserve this property.”
As a result, for the last several months, Pointer worked with the cemetery’s committee and other leaders to organize a two day clean up.
On Tuesday, city mayors, the Tennessee National Guard, historians, and the Vulcan Materials Company came out to fix the roads, clean up headstones and graves, and install a new flag pole and memorial to honor the names of those unknown.
“We’re trying to make it a better place to come and respect the men and women who are laid to rest,” said Pointer.
Volunteers were back out cleaning Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, the Youngs hope those who visit will now be able to see and honor those who impacted this community.
“Here lies some of the people that are responsible for the things that we have to today,” said Agnes. “Here lies some of the people that fought in wars for us. Here lies some of the slaves that we are descendants of. I hope they realize this and how important it is.”
The Cemetery Committee said they are hoping to make this cleanup an annual event for the community.