Where you live: Grandson visits misplaced grave

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After reading a story about it in The Augusta Chronicle, Wade Pender III wanted to see for himself the headstone that sat atop his grandfather's grave more than 50 years ago at Magnolia Cemetery. Wade H. Pender's grave was moved in 1960 to Hillcrest Cemetery, which didn't allow above-ground tombstones. What happened to the granite marker after that and why it has turned up near the Augusta Canal remain a mystery. Pender said he wants to have it moved for display in his backyard. His grandfather died in 1928.    MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF 
GRANDSON VISITS MISPLACED GRAVE MARKER
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF GRANDSON VISITS MISPLACED GRAVE MARKER
After reading a story about it in The Augusta Chronicle, Wade Pender III wanted to see for himself the headstone that sat atop his grandfather's grave more than 50 years ago at Magnolia Cemetery. Wade H. Pender's grave was moved in 1960 to Hillcrest Cemetery, which didn't allow above-ground tombstones. What happened to the granite marker after that and why it has turned up near the Augusta Canal remain a mystery. Pender said he wants to have it moved for display in his backyard. His grandfather died in 1928.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Published Wednesday, March 20, in The Augusta Chronicle

A tombstone along the Augusta Canal might give the impression someone was buried there in 1928, but officials say there is no one beneath the granite slab.

The person for whom it was made, Wade H. Pender, was buried that year in Augusta’s Magnolia Cemetery, according to city records, and his remains were relocated in 1960 to Hillcrest Cemetery.

That might be when the monument was discarded by someone, said Jerry Murphy, Magnolia Cemetery’s caretaker and records clerk.

Hillcrest Cemetery does not use such above-ground markers, he said, and it would no longer have been needed at Magnolia.

Today, it rests in a newly cleared area near the aqueduct waterfall.

Although officials were unaware of the abandoned monument, there are several other memorials up and down the popular waterway.

“There is a memorial marker by the Tin House Gate, near the aqueduct, noting the drowning of Henry Cumming Lamar and his fiancee, Louise King Connelly in Lake Olmstead in 1891,” said Rebecca Rogers, the marketing director of the Augusta Canal Authority.

There is also a marker near 15th Street and Butt Bridge dedicated to Dennis Cahill, who died there in 1902 trying to save a child from drowning, she said.

Butt Bridge is also a monument, dedicated in 1914 to Augusta native Archibald Butt, a hero who died during the 1912 Titanic disaster.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Published Friday, March 22, on augustachronicle.com

Descendents of a man whose tombstone was abandoned along the Augusta Canal more than 50 years ago plan to retrieve the monument after learning of its existence through a story earlier this week in The Augusta Chronicle.

The granite marker was made for Wade H. Pender, buried in 1928 in Magnolia Cemetery. His remains were relocated in 1960 to a family plot in Hillcrest Cemetery, which does not use above-ground memorials.

Officials believe that is when someone left the marker from Magnolia along the Augusta Canal, where recent underbrush clearing made it more visible.

Rebecca Rogers, the Augusta Canal Authority’s marketing director, said she was contacted by a family member, Peggy Langham of Waynesboro, Ga., who is making arrangements for relatives in Augusta to retrieve the marker.

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