Descendents to clean Pratt City cemetery buried by debris - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Descendents to clean Pratt City cemetery buried by debris

Posted: Updated:
Fraternal Cemetery in Pratt City. (abc3340.com) Fraternal Cemetery in Pratt City. (abc3340.com)
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

 

In a quiet corner of Pratt City, a story, long since forgotten hides from the fast paced life outside. The Fraternal, Greenwood, and Foley cemeteries span 20 acres. Most of it now is covered by trees and weeds.

"Some of those graves have not seen the light of day in probably at least 40-50 years," Shirley Butler, who has family members buried in the cemetery said.

Some so covered in debris and brush, descendents can't find them.

"It's just so disheartening because last Christmas I couldn't reach it to get to my grandmother's grave," Butler said.

"They used to throw garbage on their graves. the locals did, they used to bring their home garbage and throw it on the graves," Eddie Bratton, who also has family buried in cemetery said.

It's not your typical Birmingham cemetery. In the 1800's Pratt City was a mining town. Italians, French, Sicilians, and families from Scotland found their resting place here.

"Back then they started working when they were very young," Butler said. "When you read it, you just want to cry."

At the Jefferson County Historical Commission, the director says, it's one of the top sites she gets calls about.

"As far as anxiety and frustration about conditions, it's Fraternal Cemetery," Linda Nelson, Executive Secretary, Jefferson County Historical Commission said.

But because the cemetery's owner is no longer living, there's no one to maintain it. 

"A lot of it is under the vines, covered up with grass," Nelson said.

For Shirley Butler, this cemetery isn't simply historical - it's personal.

"This is my great grandfather who was killed in the train accident - a boiler exploded in 1892 when he was only 35 years old," she said.

Her great grandfather, William Ransom Lambert was buried here in 1892.

"It just grieves me that this cemetery would be let go and be left in this deplorable condition," Butler said.

"I've been wanting to do my geneology and that's what brought me out here," Bratton said.

Eddie Bratton says 7 of his ancestors are buried here.

"You see the debris from the tornados - that's roofing over there from someone's house," he said.

Just one month ago, these descendents started a non-profit - aimed at restoring this buried history.

"We knew that something had to be done because if our generation doesn't do it, the one behind us won't know where to look, where to go, how to find them - especially in the deplorable condition it's been in," Butler said.

As the cleanup from the tornados of April 27, 2011 continues, another cleanup will begin - the connection to the old, a welcome addition to the new Pratt City.

A cleanup is planned for Saturday, April 6th. For more information, visit http://fraternal-greenwood-foley-cemeterypreservationsociety.org/

 

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day Moon Pie eating contest

    Labor Day Moon Pie eating contest

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:22:19 GMT
    Dozens of folks got their ''fill'' of a popular Alabama treat this Labor Day.Tannehill State Park hosted the largest Moon Pie eating contest. All total there were 65 people who signed up. The winner receives a cash prize of $100. But this is about more than money. Park administrator, Stacey Green says, "I thought at times it was about the cash prizes, because the adults will win $100. But we've had so many repeat competitors, that I really think they're more in it for bragging rights. I re...More >>
    Dozens of folks got their ''fill'' of a popular Alabama treat this Labor Day.Tannehill State Park hosted the largest Moon Pie eating contest. All total there were 65 people who signed up. The winner receives a cash prize of $100. But this is about more than money. Park administrator, Stacey Green says, "I thought at times it was about the cash prizes, because the adults will win $100. But we've had so many repeat competitors, that I really think they're more in it for bragging rights. I re...More >>
  • Job growth under microscope this Labor Day

    Job growth under microscope this Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:50:56 GMT
    Keeping a roof overhead and putting food on the table. That's still difficult for many Alabamians on this 130th Labor Day. A just released report by Arise Citizens Policy Project warns Alabamians will continue to feel the effects of the great recession for years to come. Arise is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition that believes low-income people are suffering because of state policy decisions. Bottom line is that Alabama's unemployment rate stands at seven percent. Yet, the stat...More >>
    Keeping a roof overhead and putting food on the table. That's still difficult for many Alabamians on this 130th Labor Day. A just released report by Arise Citizens Policy Project warns Alabamians will continue to feel the effects of the great recession for years to come. Arise is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition that believes low-income people are suffering because of state policy decisions. Bottom line is that Alabama's unemployment rate stands at seven percent. Yet, the stat...More >>
  • 1 cent sales tax increase for Hoover City Schools?

    1 cent sales tax increase for Hoover City Schools?

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:58:15 GMT
    In recent months, possible re-zoning and a proposed cost-sharing model for school buses have been controversial issues tied to funding for Hoover City Schools. But longtime Hoover resident and retiredMore >>
    In recent months, possible re-zoning and a proposed cost-sharing model for school buses have been controversial issues tied to funding for Hoover City Schools. But longtime Hoover resident and retiredMore >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...