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Fox - Abbot Cemetery
Article by Barry Parks, July 23, 2001
The Gordon County GAGenWeb Project
Gordon County - Public Notice
Barry Parks []
July 23, 2001

Calhoun--Ken Padgett had been looking for his ancestors’ burial site for 15 years. But decades worth of undergrowth and trees had obscured most of it. And unfortunately, so had a temporary roadbed. But thanks to a project of the Gordon County Commissioners, Padgett has found his family’s cemetery, and six individuals buried there have finally found a respectable resting place.

The burial plot is known as the Fox-Abbott Cemetery. The property is located just off Bellwood Road, in view of Gordon County’s new Multi-Facility Complex currently under construction.

Some 30 years ago, Vulcan Rock used the site next to the cemetery as a quarry for the construction of I-75. But because some of the graves in the cemetery were unmarked, a road was put in that literally passed over some of the graves. Now that Gordon County is constructing a new facility there, the Commissioners launched a project to discern where the bounds of the cemetery are, as well as an initiative to find and move the unmarked graves to a location out of the roadway. That project wrapped up this week.

“There’s no question about the County’s attempt to do the right thing here,” commented Padgett. “I was excited to find the cemetery, but originally I was against moving any of the graves at all. But moving the unmarked graves out of the road closer to the known graves beside the road is a reasonable compromise.”

It was a dirty and grueling process, but excavators with TRC Garrow Associates effectively uncovered and moved the remains of six individuals whose gravesites literally had been obliterated to a place of rest alongside the marked graves in the Fox-Abbott Cemetery. Albeit those remains were nothing more than a few teeth, one button and a handful of coffin nails.

“There were several spots that turned out not to even be graves,” commented Pat Garrow, supervisor of the excavation. “That’s what happens when you have nothing to go on but an idea. But we did find six graves, and the evidence we’ve seen indicates they probably date back to before 1875.”

Based on the size of the grave shafts the excavators uncovered, all individuals buried in the unmarked graves are thought to be under the age of six years old, including two infants. There is, of course, no way of determining the identity of those individuals.

The Gordon County Commission Board’s effort to relocate this section of cemetery was accomplished through an order for a “Burial Disturbance Permit.” Gordon County Superior Court Judge David Smith granted that permit after a public hearing held in May of this year.

The Board had previously commissioned genealogy studies and archaeological research and had effectively attempted to contact all known descendants of the individuals buried in the Fox-Abbott Cemetery before any work was done there.

“I’m not a native of Gordon County, but I have a sincere appreciation for the history of this county and the people in it,” stressed Gordon County Administrator Alan Theriault. “I think it was a shame that cemetery was ever disturbed in the first place, but I feel the Board has done its best to respect the deceased, as well as the wishes of the Fox and Abbott descendants.”

Now that the six graves have been relocated, the roadway that had passed over the unmarked graves will now be completed. It will serve as a main entranceway to the new Georgia State Patrol Post #43, which is a part of the Gordon County Multi-Facility Complex. That entire project is slated for completion by Fall 2001. 

Taken from Gordon County Online []

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