City looks to fix cemetery as gravestones topple - WSMV Channel 4

City looks to fix cemetery as gravestones topple

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The final resting place for hundreds of Tennesseans, including two former governors, is falling apart.

Headstones at a historic cemetery are about to topple over. While the managers think they know why, fixing the problem is another issue.

The Lewisburg city manager said his city spends more than $100,000 a year to maintain Loan Oak Cemetery, but this is a problem that even a lawn mower can't fix.

Some headstones are tilting close to the ground, no longer standing erect, and others have broken completely away from their foundations.

Rows and rows of graves that date back to 1883 are literally falling apart.

City Manager Tommy Engram said some of the older headstones seem to be holding up better, but poor placement or the ground itself may be eroding some of the newer grave markers.

The 16-acre cemetery is more than a place where dead people are buried, it is also where many people walk and generations visit.

"This is a point of local pride. We have a celebration out here every year," Engram said.

There are discussions in the community to save the cemetery, where former Gov. Jim McCord is buried. A nearby municipality even hired an outside company to take over its large, historic graveyard.

But Engram wonders at what cost.

"But I don't know to what extent we would have liability for damaging monuments if we did that. We're having our city attorney look at that," Engram said.

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