MARSH-HAYWOOD CEMETERY, MARSHALL COUNTY TENNESSEE
This is the view of the cemetery after one turns into the private drive. The white sign can barely be made out from this distance. The stones from this distance look like little stumps protruding from the ground. There is a right of way but it is not marked. You are at the land owners mercy in getting into the cemetery as fences abound all around.
Looking at an unmaintained cemetery such as this appears as mass confusion from this angle. There parts of whole and broken memorials lying around, other stones are fallen and fieldstones marking graves are out of place. Trees are fallen and lying on the stones breaking them and pushing them over. Even the stone inside the fence is not secure from all the bad cemetery management incurred here. As you can see the tree is in the process of swallowing the one memorial inside the fence in its tree trunk or pushing it over. It will gradually wrap and cover cambium and outer bark & cover the stone over a period of years as it grows. If the stone is set deeply it will wrap it. If it is set shallow it will push the memorial over. One can see this tree already has engulfed the iron fence.
As I understand Cemetery law of Tennessee this is the mostly the fault of the descendents of this cemetery for not standing up and coming forward with proper management and providing care. We cannot impose this maintenance responsibility on the land owner. There are however, certain minimum requirements which they should follow, and one of those (to me) should be some kind of fence to keep their livestock at bay.
Photos & info by Wayne Austin 29 Nov 2005.