Providing Education and Support to Municipal and Nonprofit Cemeteries in Georgia
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The Georgia Municipal Cemetery Association is a recognized resource for cemetery professionals, historians and preservationists interested in cemetery preservation, advocacy and education. Our cemeteries, whether large or small, reveal the richness and historic fabric of Georgia's history. Through innovative workshops and conferences, GMCA's goal is to be a key resource to preserve our treasured cemeteries and burial grounds.
Laurel Grove Cemetery - Savannah, GA
Conference and Workshops
Thank you to all those that attended this year's conference in Savannah! We had a great time and certainly hope you did as well. The presentations will be placed on our website in the near future. We hope to see you again next year in Rome, GA!
Cemetery professionals, historians and preservationists have enjoyed workshops that have been held in Savannah, Social Circle, Brunswick and Vienna. Our workshops offer unique, in-depth approaches to a variety of topics that have included cemetery rapid assessment, disaster preparedness, stone restoration, ground penetrating radar and using aerial videography (drones) to map and record cemeteries.
Did you miss a workshop? Sign up to receive email notification about future workshops.
If you have a topic that you would like to hear at an upcoming workshop or conference, we encourage you to contact your Region Director. We will do our best to accommodate your requests. If you have a location that you feel would make a great place for a workshop or a conference, please let us know.
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Henry Milhollin of Douglas, GA and Stan Rogers of Rome, GA demonstrate how to clean a soiled monument using D/2 at a workshop in Vienna, GA.
CHANGES MADE TO DISINTERMENT/REINTERMENT PERMIT PROCESS
On October 7, 2019, changes were enacted to rule 511-1-3-.23 Permits for the Disposition, Disinterment, and Reinterment. It's been just two years since the last changes were made to the same rule. These changes, however, are a little more impactful; perhaps not to the cemetery but certainly to the parties requesting the disinterment and reinterment.
Effective on October 7th, permits for disinterment and reinterment of a dead body or fetus, including interred cremains, will be issued by the County Registrar upon receipt of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction directing such interment. Previously, a disinterment/reinterment permit only required joint signatures of the surviving spouse, or the next of kin in the absence of a surviving spouse; the owner of the cemetery plot; and the person who is in charge of the disinterment. Now, only a court of competent jurisdiction can authorize a disinterment/reinterment. Additionally, they now require a permit to disinter or reinter interred cremations.
Please be aware, permits are not required when disinterment and reinterment occur within the same cemetery. However, this does not mean you cannot apply the same standard within your cemetery.
CLOSURE BROUGHT TO THE DENSLER FAMILY CEMETERY PROJECT
As a cemeterian, I certainly do not advocate for relocating cemeteries. However, I understand that the need is occasionally warranted. While the "need" of each case is certainly a debatable topic, we can at least be grateful that there are laws in place to protect or, at least ,mitigate the damage to these sacred grounds. It is even more satisfying to know that, at least in my opinion, more people are becoming cognizant of and even speaking up on behalf of these historic and often hidden cemeteries, which is how the Densler Family Cemetery was saved from being paved over.
In the case of the Densler Cemetery, the developer had no knowledge of the cemetery. The only above-ground evidence was a ledger and a tablet, both of which were removed from the site to Gravel Hill Cemetery prior to the developer purchasing the property. Fortunately, a local citizen tipped off City of Savannah staff, who quickly issued a stop-work order.
The developer applied for a permit to relocate the Densler Family Cemetery, which was subject to review by the City of Savannah. After review and in accordance with O.C.G.A. 36-72-1 et al,, the permit to relocate the Densler remains was approved.
With the help of the archaeology firm, New South Associates, five remains were successful located and disinterred. On September 19th, 2019, New South Associates reinterred the five Densler remains in Laurel Grove North Cemetery. Shortly thereafter, the ledger and tablet were reunited with Densler remains at Laurel Grove, where conveniently there was space on a cemetery lot belonging to another part of the Densler family. In the near future, Landmark Preservation will be conserving the fractured ledger and resetting the tablet. If there is a such thing as a happy ending to a cemetery relocation, I suppose this is it.
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