Friday, May 10, 2013

Cemetery Log Date: May 11, 2013

Magnolia Springs Cemetery after restoration.


Magnolia Spring Cemetery is often mentioned during CRPT as a best practice in what can be done to restore a historic cemetery.  Not long ago we were called out to help with this vandalized park.  When we arrived on the scene, there was only one headstone left.  The rest of the markers had been removed, stolen, and displaced over time.  Did we leave the stone in place?  HECK NO!!!  We worked with Clay County Archives to record the stone, called in Clay County Sheriff's department to report the vandalism, and we used a headstone removal form in advance of moving the stone to the Archives.  

Where is the stone now?  Back where it always was, and its no longer alone.  The county raised money to place a fence around the property and replacement markers were ordered.  FPAN assisted Archives in a GPR demonstration to confirm location of unmarked burials and excavated a small unit void of GPR findings for placement of the flag pole.  The cemetery is gated but you can see it from the road.  Call our friends Claude and Vishi at Clay County Archives if you are interested in seeing or just learning more- they're a terrific resource!

Who: Owned and managed by Clay County
What: Restored cemetery, result of long term efforts by county, preservationists, and archaeologists to locate and replace stolen markers and monuments.
Where:   Link to Google map
When:  Open for special events, contact Clay County Archives to arrange access
 Why:
  • One of Clay County's earliest Historical sites
  • Former location of Governor Tonyn's plantation during British Period
  • Clay County Archives contains numerous documents relating to the cemetery and the site 
  • Best practice in restoring historic cemetery after unthinkable vandalism over time

PS what did it take to pull off the restoration?  Coordination of all these partners: United Methodist Church, Green Cove Springs, Board of County Commissioners, Clay County Sheriffs Office, James B. Jett, Clerk of the Court, Clay County Historical Commission (Don Christofoli, Gayward Hendry, Claude Bass), Clay County Archives, Vishi Garig,John Nelson, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Russell Haven Rest Cemetery and Funeral Home, James Clemmons, Clemmons Fence Company










For more:
Clay County Historical Archives: Magnolia Springs Hotel
Nowhere Near the Ordinary: Westview

*Note: signage in cemetery use both spellings, West View and Westview.  Search both if looking for more information.

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff.  Images: Historic Cemeteries (Mary Homick), used with permission.

For previous posts search: Cemetery a Day in May or #CaDiM
Intro, May 1: National, May 2: Oakdale, May 3: Murphy's Creek, May 4: Mt. Olive, May 5: Bosque Bello, May 6: Old City, May 7: Espanola, May 8: Tolomato, May 9: Pacetti, May 10: West View, May 11: Magnolia Springs

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