Mississippi Strong: Port Gibson Volunteers - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi Strong: Port Gibson Volunteers

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PORT GIBSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There is a growing group of people who have seen a community need in Port Gibson and have taken it on, and have taken it personally and are slowly restoring a historic cemetery and bringing it back to life.

"Six weeks ago I never knew it was here, never heard of it, never anything," said William Coleman. "Just came out and looked at it and just, you know, how can you allow this to happen?"

That is Port Gibson resident William Coleman's take on Golden West Cemetery just west of Port Gibson at about the city limits. If you’ve ever gone to the Windsor ruins you’ve passed right by it and didn’t know it.

You probably thought like I did, that the little patch of woods was the beginning of the heavily forested area that stretches on out in Claiborne County along Bayou Pierre from there. But closer inspection reveals a cemetery here.

This was a seriously fine cemetery at one time," added Coleman. "But I don’t know, how did it go from that to this?"

Well, they started burying people here around 1900. By 1970 burials tapered off and as relatives aged, the cemetery was not kept up as it once started being neglected then it was forgotten and soon overgrown.

There are three acres in this cemetery and probably over 300 graves in here. William and his family, sister and brother and brother-in-law decided to start in and bring it back to what it once was.

"Me and my sister and brother have no interest in this at all other than, hey, it needs to be done," added Coleman.

Lenora Dotson, the treasurer of the cemetery, sees this renewed attention as a great thing.

"It would mean a lot to me because it’s a lot of our relatives near and far is buried here and we need to be more dedicated to our cemetery than we are," said Dotson.

William sees this not as a project that is an end in itself, but perhaps a beginning for Port Gibson.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning," said Coleman. "There’s a lot of other things that need to be done. And I’m hoping that, hey, somebody’s got to jump start it. And I’m hoping that this will be the jumpstart."

Anyone who wants to join in may do so. William says just call the Port Gibson Chamber of Commerce to find out how to help.

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