Each year, the LF Class votes and selects a project to complete in the community. The LF Class of 2022 was presented with 5 different projects by different members of the class but when the Tolbert Street Cemetery restoration project was presented, the group immediately knew, that was their project!
Their objective was and continues to be, to honor and bring dignity to those buried in the cemetery. They had no idea how old the cemetery was, who was buried there, or any historical information on the cemetery and its surrounding areas.
The class began the project to clear the grounds of overgrowth, removing trees to open up the space, research any legible headstones that were remaining, build a parking space for those visiting, adding a walking path, add relevant signage about the cemetery, and overall clean the grounds. During their work days, the class members found many cedar trees on the grounds and discovered that cedar is an evergreen which is a symbol of everlasting life.
The class proudly accomplished all their initial goals with the assistance and sponsors from our incredibly kind and generous community. They have added parking for three cars, a walkway from the parking to the grounds, signage for the front of the cemetery, and landscaping to beautify the grounds.
The research team from the LF Class of 2022, went through deed records at the County Courthouse. The deeds allowed the team to trace the land back to the land lottery in 1832, after that date, the land was transferred to several different owners during the following years. In 1871, Kennedy Grambling, deeded a portion of his land to three trustees; Kellogg, Hayward, and Ellis. This portion was to be used for religious purposes and they created the Cumming Methodist Episcopal Church and the cemetery.
During the restoration efforts, the class members found four legible headstones: Mary Wood 1845-1882, Harriett Brown 1845-1900, Ophelia Hunter 1868-1905, and Hattie Gober 1800-1900. They also found many stones that are grave markers without any legible marking on them. About six years ago, a Boy Scout troop located about fifty graves and marked those with white crosses. However, the class felt there were more graves that were not marked. Therefore,they asked for assistance from the Forsyth County water and sewer department to use some of their ground penetrating radar technology to help them located any other graves that were not marked. After their work was completed, it was determined that there are 180 graves in the cemetery. The research team and other community members are continuing to locate the family of those buried in the cemetery and compile any further history of the grounds.
The Class of 2022 have a dedication ceremony planned for May 2nd at 11 a.m. at the Tolbert Street Cemetery. They have invited the public to attend the dedication and blessing of the cemetery. For more information about the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.