Edgewater Cemetary04

Published on May 11th, 2013 | by NSB Observer


Locals Rally to Clean Up Forgotten Cemetery

Oaklynn Cemetery off of Airpark Road seemed like a distant and overgrown memory until family members of those buried there were finally given permission to revive it. The predominantly African American cemetery sits on 5.6 acres of land has long been abandoned, neglected and heavily vandalized.

Concerned family members, including Jake and Gwen Tobler and Sandra Woodard, fought for the ability to not only visit their grandparents graves but to show them the respect they deserve by cleaning up the land.  Cemetary20

With the help of caring volunteers like Shauntay Bowley, the small group was able to access the privately owned land located on the Massey Ranch Airpark.

They began the long process of cleaning out the overgrown vegetation and uncovering forgotten graves. After years of storms, flooding and vandalism, human remains were scattered around some of the above ground vaults.

Gwen Tobler is committed to cleaning up the cemetery, explaining “we have no clue where my grandparents are, but we’re going to find them.” In addition to her grandparents, it is estimated that 144 people are buried in Oaklynn, including as many as seven war veterans.

Unfortunately, 5.6 acres is too much land for the small group of family and volunteers. More volunteers are desperately needed in order to get the job done and show the deceased the respect they deserve.

If you are interested in helping with the clean up process or volunteering in any way, call (386) 314-4474.

By Kelsey Arnold

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