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Large Gathering for Lexington Cemetery Public Forum

A large audience gathered for a public forum to discuss concerns and issues with the eastern side of Lexington Cemetery, on November 2, 2021.
Photo by: W. Clay Crook / The Lexington Progress

Article by W. Clay Crook-

In one of the largest public gatherings for a city meeting, a public forum was held on Tuesday evening, November 2, 2021, to discuss issues and concerns with the eastern side of the Lexington Cemetery.

Lexington Mayor Jeff Griggs, the Board of Aldermen, and analysts from Civil and Environmental Consultants were on hand to note concerns from the public and barriers for the city.

One of the issues is that the east section of the cemetery, where the Black community has traditionally been interred, is not owned by the city, and no deeds to that area have been found due to the burning of the courthouse in 1863 by the 3rd Michigan Cavalry, another burning in 1895, and some destruction of records in the tornado of 1913.

Many members of the community who have relatives buried in the east section, along with the Beautification Committee for the east section, a non-profit organization, were in favor of the city acquiring the property and having a uniform guideline of lot purchases and burials.

Mr. John Easley, who knows the outlay of the cemetery through his work there over the last 60 years, has concerns that the legacy and history of the historic Black section of the cemetery may not be preserved if it goes under city control, and is hesitant to release his personal records.

Mayor Griggs answered a question that lots in the main cemetery can be purchased by anyone, regardless of race or color.

There are some challenges that face the city, one of the largest being the lack of title, which has been searched unsuccessfully, and the lack of a formal layout. “In the main part of the cemetery, we have a chart of the burials, which lots have been sold, and which lots are available, but we don’t have that for the east section,” said Mayor Griggs. There are complications if a lot was…

For the complete article, see the November 10th edition of The Lexington Progress.

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