Sounds kind of odd, new life for a cemetery, but cemeteries are living things in the sense that life is preserved there and history is preserved there and they deserve respect. A cleaning up every now and again. Hopewell is a deserving cemetery that got that treatment.
The Hopewell Cemetery, south of Vicksburg is the Warrenton community, is the oldest cemetery in Warren County. It was here before the county was here.
"It was in Claiborne County, there was Warren County then" said Gordon Cotton. "There was no Warrenton then. The town of Warrenton had not even been established. Of course there was no Vicksburg."
They were just a bunch of settlers, almost pioneers, who were moving into the Mississippi territory. It wasn't even a state yet, when they established Hopewell Church in 1805.
They almost immediately started dying. And were buried in the churchyard, and were buried here for many decades after the church ceased to exist.
The church disbanded in the late 1820's when the population shifted to nearby Redbone.
"Even though the church ceased to exist very early they kept using this graveyard" added Cotton. "Of course the town of Warrenton was formed right down the hill on the river. It became the first seat of Warren County. So this became the town graveyard."
The last burials at Hopewell were around 1900. Then the cemetery was abandoned and forgotten and overgrown for a hundred years until just a few years ago, when the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society pitched in and cleaned it up.
My friend, historian Gordon Cotton, who among other things, was the former curator for the old courthouse museum in Vicksburg, says it was a formidable task to clean it up.
"Over two acres and you couldn't even walk through it" said Cotton. "We put it off as long as we could and several friends of the historical society said lets do it. So we got out here, about a dozen people and we worked and we worked and got it done. And now you can cut it with a lawn mower in most places."
"And uncovered were graves of soldiers from the revolutionary war and the war of 1812 and the civil war. As well as the grave of a man killed when a house fell on him. To one lady who's name was copied directly out of the family bible inscribing on her tombstone the middle name of alias. Where the inscription in the bible was simply an explanation for her married name.
"Like I say, everybody out here, everybody is a story Walt" said Cotton.
Old stories come alive again when old cemeteries are uncovered and the lives of the people who are buried here are rediscovered.
Monday, May 20 2013 4:08 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:08:33 GMT
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard. According to Officer Colendula Green with JPD, officers haveMore >>
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:17 AM EDT2013-05-20 15:17:56 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears a disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Monday, May 20 2013 5:22 PM EDT2013-05-20 21:22:27 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains are mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:10:06 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president.
So when the school started planning for the commencement, Flake said she was shocked to find out that she was not among those chosen to speak.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:26:49 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation. Sheriff's office officials say the northeast Jackson investigation isMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation.More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:43 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:43:49 GMT
The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county. James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson. ProsecutorsMore >>
The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county. James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:35:37 GMT
Authorities have recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's younger brother continued Sunday. ColumbusMore >>
Authorities have recovered the body of a 6-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's older brother continued Sunday.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201