Volunteers Bring New Life To Historic Hernando Cemetery
(DeSoto County, MS) You never know what you’re going to find in a cemetery, and when that cemetery is the first ever in the area, what you’ll find is the areas founding history all in one place.
Tom Ferguson didn’t think much of the headstones on an overgrown hill on the outskirts of Hernando, until he learned of his family’s connection to Springhill Cemetery, ”Because my grandfather was buried here and it’s where my father wanted to be laid to rest”.
Plots date back to 1836 and the founding of the town of Jefferson, which eventually became Hernando.
”We have everything from civil war veterans to some of the earliest settlers, the first Sheriff to the first Mayor as well as yellow fever victims. Folks that were killed in train accidents. They each has their own story to tell,” said Brian Hicks of the DeSoto County Museum.
Ferguson and volunteers worked to clean the place up and with the help of Northwest Community College installed improvements here.
They even got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
”Being in the original plat, I believe they ruled that this is the only beginning that’s left in Hernando” Furguson explained.
Now, every year, they re-live the town’s history around Halloween, with local people playing the parts of the people buried here.
They bring history, and for a night, the dead, back to life just as they did this cemetery.
”We got a lot of volunteers, and a lot of good people out here working to save it” said Furguson.
The goal here is to never see the place fall into disrepair or the memories here forgotten.
Springhill will hold another of its re-enactments this Friday night at the cemetery.