MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Florence woman and a veteran’s group are on a mission to restore a hidden cemetery in Marion County.
The cemetery is near Mossy Point Road, which runs along the Great Pee Dee River off of Highway 76. It’s near the Pee Dee community.
Kady Morris drove by it a few months ago while exploring back roads with her kids. She was surprised by what she saw.
“There’s trash burnt on the graves,” she said. “There’s trash piles all over that have been burning. There’s beer bottles…This is disrespectful. It’s not okay.”
The grave yard is fairly large, and many of the stones belong to veterans. Some of the stones date back as far as World War I.
Some graves are washing out or have been damaged. Others, simply covered up by the weeds.
That’s why Morris is so keen on restoring and cleaning up the cemetery. She showed the site to John Tranum, Commander of the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association chapter in Myrtle Beach.
“I went home and cried,” he remembered. “We go over to the Florence National Cemetery every December. We lay a wreath. These veterans don’t get that. They deserve better.”
The pair says they want to show respect to those buried by cleaning things up. But they want to get in touch with whoever is in charge of the sight, first.
“We have some reputable people willing to help,” Morris said. “It’s not just somebody off the street coming to help. It’s actually an organization and many vets themselves. And we’re not just going to clean the vets, we’re going to clean everybody up.”
News13 contacted several local funeral homes, the Marion County coroner, local Veterans Affairs, the South Carolina Cemetery Association and other entities without getting clarity on who owned the property.
But records News13 obtained from the Marion County tax assessors’ office show the lot belongs to the Pleasant Grove Methodist Church. There’s a nearby church of that name, but no one was there and there was not a phone number listed.
Moris and Tranum hope to get in touch with whoever the owner is so they can help restore the graveyard.
Morris started a Facebook page for the push to restore the cemetery.