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Old cemetery in new hands

by Kate Shunney

One of Morgan County’s historic graveyards is now part of the Town of Bath, following a multi-step annexation process. Last Wednesday, July 6, the Morgan County Commissioners held a public hearing and voted to approve the request to move the Old English Cemetery into the Bath town limits.

Attorney Richard Gay and Bath councilwoman Beth Skinner, who has led the effort to take ownership of the inactive cemetery, attended the hearing. No one from the public objected to the move to shift the 1.337-acre cemetery to the town’s oversight.

“It’s kind of like a neglected cemetery,” Gay told commissioners. As far as town officials know, the last person to be interred in the Old English Cemetery was buried there in 1877. Over the years, the graveyard becomes overgrown, and recently there was talk by the town about dealing with older trees posing a risk to nearby properties. Town officials said they would take on the maintenance of the graveyard but no one could find a record of who owned it.

Gay said staff at the County Clerk’s office helped sort through old land documents to try and answer the question.

He told commissioners the town now has title to the property through a quick-claim deed.

No one was paying taxes on the acreage and the cemetery wasn’t on the tax rolls.

County officials unanimously approved the minor boundary adjustment that will now widen the town limits to include the cemetery.

Skinner said recently a local Boy Scout group worked with the Daughters of the American Revolution to identify by GPS every buried person in the graveyard.

 

Olde English cemetery.

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