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White County Museum Restoring Gravestones At Old Sparta Cemetery

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Museum Restoring Gravestones At Old Sparta Cemetery

White County’s oldest cemetery is getting its gravestones cleaned thanks to the White County Museum.

The museum is cleaning up the gravestones in the Old Sparta Cemetery that overlooks downtown, using grant money to purchase the same chemical national cemeteries use. White County Museum Co-Director Peggy Hurteau said the process does not take long.

“You spray it and leave it alone,” Hurteau said. “The sun is what works with that solution, and like I said, the ones up here that are white and you can read the names where you couldn’t read them before, those are the ones that we have done.”

Hurteau said some of the solutions you get to clean gravestones are dangerous to use but this one is safe. She said it is important to preserve the cemetery because it is seeped in history.

“People buried there were way back before our time, and for me when I moved to this area, I didn’t think I had family in this area,” Hurteau said. “My family was all West Tennessee. However, found out from doing research I’ve got people buried right up here in this cemetery, and it’s exciting to be able to say, oh, that’s my contact right there, but they’re so many famous people buried up there and their history is fascinating.”

George Dibrell is one of the famous names buried at the Old Sparta Cemetery. He served five terms in the US House of Representatives and was a Confederate General during the American Civil War.

“During the Civil War, General Dibrell actually one time had his men, and they were stationed on top of that hill,” Hurteau said. “If you were up on top of that hill you could see both rivers going through here. So, they could watch for the enemy coming in on the rivers.”

Hurteau said you spray the solution, scrub, wash it off and spray the gravestone with the solution again. The restoration process is being driven by volunteers and Hurteau herself.

“I just figured, carry the solution in my car, if I have a few minutes one day stop by there and spray one,” Hurteau said. “It doesn’t take that long to do one stone, but we have been able to clean some of those stones to where we can read the names and the dates on there, which is exciting because you think oh, I know who that is.”


The post White County Museum Restoring Gravestones At Old Sparta Cemetery appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.