Municipal cemeteries committee adds signage

MADISON – Members of Madison Municipal Cemeteries Committee have placed ‘circa’ signage at two of the city’s public cemeteries.

Workers recently installed the historic markers at Madison Cemetery, which is north of Mill Road and south of City Hall, and Madison Memory Gardens, on Hughes Road just north of City Hall.

“The signs were installed so the circa dates of each cemetery could be visible to everyone,” committee president Cindi W. Sanderson said. “I have been asked numerous times, ‘How old is that cemetery?’ or ‘When was the first burial there?”

Sanderson said the signs provide another way of documenting the history of the city. 

Madison Cemetery was opened circa 1914 with the first known burial for Sarah Orlena Garrett. “There are a couple of headstones with earlier dates, but they are not original to the cemetery. These were moved from a family cemetery on U.S. 72 during the 1950s,” Sanderson said.

Before Madison Cemetery was available, burials were completed in Old Madison Cemetery, south of Mill Road. Alabama Historical Commission designated Old Madison Cemetery as a historic cemetery in 2015.

Madison Memory Gardens located on Hughes Road opened circa 1927. “This site was formerly known as Royal Cemetery. The oldest known burial there was that of Virginia Leslie,” Sanderson said.

“Both Madison Cemetery and Madison Memory Gardens are municipal cemeteries,” she said.

Along with Sanderson, the members of Madison Municipal Cemeteries Committee are Elbert Balch, member of Madison Station Historic Preservation Commission; Gerald Clark, District 6 Councilman, Madison City Council; Mayor Paul Finley; Dorothy Magee; Rev. Evelyn Matthews; Public Works employee Colby Smith; Public Works Director Kent Smith; and City Clerk-Treasurer Melanie A. Williard.

The committee is responsible for studying related matters and making recommendations to City Council. The group assists in the performance of maintenance and improvements to the grounds and structures of all cemeteries operated and maintained by the City of Madison, as provided in Ordinance No. 2012-48.

For more information, visit madisonal.gov.

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