Volunteers sought to help clean up Darlington City Cemetery on Saturday

Pee Dee

DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) – Volunteers are being asked to help clean up one of the oldest and largest private burial sites in the Pee Dee region, according to the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association.

A community cleanup day is planned for Saturday, June 19, at the Darlington City Cemetery. Volunteers are asked to show up at 7 a.m. to help with the cleanup. Those who want to help should bring gloves, Weed eaters, chainsaws, lawnmowers or trailers. Water, Gatorade and hot dogs will be provided.

Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, weed eaters, chainsaws, lawnmowers, or trailers if they have any. Water, Gatorade, and hot dogs will be provided.

The cemetery contains 5,000 burial sites, including those of religious leaders, public servants, and educators, specifically, Rev. Isaac P. Brockenton, James Lawrence Cain, Edmund H. Deas, Lawrence Reese, and Dr. Mable K. Howard. Among the buried are veterans from the Confederate States of America Army, the Spanish American War, World War I and II, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

“We are asking all the sororities, fraternities, Masons, Eastern Stars, Elks, veterans, Shriners, Mayo High School alumni and graduates, and especially those with family members buried there to come out and donate some time to help restore the cemetery,” council member Sheila Baccus said.

The late 19th century African American cemetery was established by the descendants of those buried there. Macedonia Baptist Church, Bethel AME Church, and St. James Methodist Church put together 16 acres over the years, beginning with just five acres in 1890. The site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, served as the only African American cemetery within the city limits of Darlington until 1946.

Donations to help with the upkeep of the cemetery are also being sought. They can be made to the Darlington Memorial Cemetery and mailed to P.O. Box 1494, Darlington, SC 29540. For information, call 843-307-2287 or email shelabig@yahoo.com.

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