In July 24-30 issueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal ReporterABOVE: Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates looks over plots of his relatives in the city’s 157-year-old cemetery.
JAMESTOWN - Arguably the county seat's most recognizable cemetery, the 157-year-old Jamestown Cemetery, recently received a much-needed face lift but is still needing funds to help with its continued upkeep, according to Mayor Brooks Bates.
“The revenue we take in from the sale of plots will not maintain the upkeep of the cemetery,” he said. “Consequently, the cemetery relies on contributions and many times people tend to forget about this.”
The cemetery board — which consists of Grace Hall, Lillian Weston, Eugene Hadley and Janet Wilkerson — in conjunction with the city made a consecrated effort to do a complete clean-up and renovation of the cemetery.
The board still lacks one member that the mayor will appoint in the coming weeks.
“We went around the entire perimeter of it and cleaned up all the trash,” said Public Works Director Ottis Skaggs. Skaggs said he used five city maintenance employees, Maintenance Supervisor Rudy Chapman, Phillip Anderson, Mitchell Marcum, Irvin Kemp and Travis Mann and city equipment to take down some trees and resew part of the land with grass and straw.
“They did a really good job on it,” he said. “It took quite a while to clean up and we've spent a lot of time over there.”
He said the men worked close to two weeks on the cemetery project.
The cemetery, on U.S. 127 adjacent to the Jamestown United Methodist Church, has between eight and 10 acres of land with about 3,000 grave plots. Just over half of those are filled, according to City Clerk Kim Weston.
The city bought another large portion of land by the cemetery in 2005, which hasn't been plotted yet and will add around 1,000 additional plots to the large area.
In the 1950s, the cemetery officially became known as the Jamestown Cemetery through a city ordinance and at that time the cemetery board was also established, according to Weston.
Weston said all cemetery plots are $500 except for a small portion which has remained at $250. The money from the plots goes into the cemetery fund along with all donations to help with maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.
Bates said a typical year for the cemetery's fund saw $9,000 to $10,000 go toward maintenance.
“We've been pretty fortunate (with donations) so far, but as the cemetery grows the mowing costs grow and it costs us more to keep it looking good,” Weston said.
The cemetery does have plots specific for cremation purposes, she said. The shelter at the cemetery has also been a welcome addition, Weston said.
“We think everyone really appreciates that,” she said.
Send donations to the Jamestown Cemetery at Jamestown Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 587, Jamestown, Ky, 42629. Donations can also be dropped off at the Jamestown City Hall.