Families join together to save aging cemetery

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Edgar Carmichael's violent death is as much a mystery today as it was on Christmas Day 1865, when he died "by the hands of an unknown assassin."

Beyond the cryptic epitaph on his weathered tombstone, little else is known about the 20-year-old Augusta man's demise.

"Some of these markers are fascinating," said Anne Sherman, a Carmichael descendant who has joined forces with other families to preserve the aging Cottage Cemetery in south Augusta.

Hidden by a weathered brick wall, the 200-year-old historic site off Marvin Griffin Road is threatened by vandalism and neglect.

Among the known burials there are Oswell Eve, a sea captain and boat builder who owned Goodale Plantation below Augusta; Emma Longstreet, the wife of Sibley Mill namesake Josiah Sibley; and inventor Joseph Eve, who patented a cotton gin in 1788.

Others were bankers, church founders, merchants and writers whose contributions to Augusta deserve the site's preservation, said Phillip Christman, who serves with a nonprofit organization that is raising funds for the cemetery's care.

The idea, he said, is to have Historic Augusta Inc. serve as fiduciary manager for funds that will help preserve the cemetery, which was named for one of Oswell Eve's homes known simply as "The Cottage."

Though the area receives some maintenance, it will take a broader effort to protect it from vandalism, said Erick Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta.

"If you look around out here, almost all the markers have been damaged," he said. "Isn't it sad?"

Much of the damage occurred decades ago, but the site remains vulnerable to exploitation and damage, Ms. Sherman said.

The committee hopes to contract with the Chicora Foundation, a Columbia group with expertise in cemetery preservation, for the site's long-term welfare.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

WANT TO HELP?


A committee is forming to help preserve the 200-year-old Cottage Cemetery in south Augusta where members of the Eve, Campbell, Carmichael, Cunningham, FitzSimons, Longstreet, Schley and Sibley families are buried.


Contributions can be mailed to Historic Augusta, P.O. Box 37, Augusta, GA 30903, earmarked "Cottage Cemetery Fund." If you have information about descendants, contact Anne Sherman, P.O. Box 700, Edisto Island, SC 29843, or e-mail tidesofmarsh@bellsouth.net.

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truth4u
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truth4u 02/06/08 - 11:30 am
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who cares about a old racist

who cares about a old racist plantation owner and Eli whitney, an african american, created and patened the cotton gin!

SunDown
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SunDown 02/06/08 - 02:23 pm
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An "african american" created

An "african american" created the cotton gin??? That's news to me. Of course I have no way of knowing if that is true. Since you seem to be somewhat of a demented and racist history buff let me clue you in on something. "The issue of slavery was greatly impacted by the invention of the cotton gin. Prior to this invention, slavery had become less favorable with Americans. It's appearance caused the continuance of slavery in America, until its dissolution at the end of the Civil War." What all that means is that since cotton became so easy to process more slaves were needed to pick the cotton. So... congratulations to the inventor for propagating unimaginable human suffering on his people.

426Hemi
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426Hemi 02/06/08 - 03:53 pm
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Where the hell is Al

Where the hell is Al Sharpton? If it weren't for the cotton gin, I wouln't be wearing my baby but smooth BVD's!

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 02/09/08 - 04:29 pm
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truth4u, re-check your

truth4u, re-check your history, you are mis-informed. Eli Whitney was not African-American. There is a theory he may have borrowed the idea of the cotton gin from an African slave, but no proof. Mr. Whitney has the patent #72X. A slave could not register a patent if he did come up with the idea, since he was not a citizen. I know you would not want to spread untruths.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/09/08 - 08:00 pm
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Isn't EVERY cemetery "aging?"

Isn't EVERY cemetery "aging?"

truth4u
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truth4u 02/11/08 - 01:39 pm
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slavery continued because of

slavery continued because of people like you!!! Oh here is my invention and its going to prolong slavery. the invetion was made to process cotton easier and more efficiently. Slaves didn't say "Hey i wanna be a slave longer because ol' eli here came up with a invention." Stupid!!!!!!!!!!!

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 02/11/08 - 04:00 pm
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truth4u. it's hard to tell

truth4u. it's hard to tell what you are ranting about. Why don't you define what you mean by "people like you". You don't know anyone on here so how can you categorize any of the posters. And by the way, where are your manners. Didn't your mother don't call names and if you do, look in the mirror it applies to you.

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