Status of cemeteries topic of discussion at meeting

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2006

By By Lydia Grimes – Feature Reporter
On March 28, I attended a very interesting March meeting of the Escambia County Historical Society at Jefferson Davis Community College.
I have been planning a few articles connected with cemeteries and just have not gotten around to them, but now I have a little bit of incentive.
The speakers at the meeting were Ted Urquhart, president of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance and the Alabama Historical Commission's Cemetery Program coordinator, and Lee Anne Wofford, Architectural Survey coordinator and Cemetery Program coordinator with the Alabama Historical Commission.
The Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance was formed in 2001 to combine the efforts of many groups who have concerns about the status of the state's cemeteries.
Their emphasis is on preserving, protecting and restoring all cemeteries throughout the state, especially those that are endangered, forgotten and neglected.
Each county is requested to have an individual who will be the representative for that county.
At the meeting, Escambia County was not represented, but immediately after the program. Norma and James Rogers, stepped up and volunteered for the job.
If you have a cemetery that you want recognized or even know of a cemetery out in the woods that has been forgotten, give Norma and James a call. Their number is 867-8945.
Maybe some of these old family cemeteries can be recognized and restored before it is too late.
Lee Anne Wofford represented the Alabama Historical Commission at the Historical Society.
She brought plenty of brochures to hand out to those in attendance about the ways and means of cleaning and restoring those old headstones that have seen better days.
I have told you before that sometimes what you do with good intentions may not be what is needed for repair and cleaning.
I am sure if you contact Mrs. Wofford, she would be happy to send you some of these brochures. You can reach her at 468 South Perry St., Montgomery, Ala. 36130-0900, 1-334-242-3184 or go to
If you know of a cemetery that is over 40 years old and would like to have it placed on the Historic Cemetery Register, you can also contact Mrs. Wofford.
Now on to another subject. You will remember my telling you about the old Dixon home located at the Solon Dixon Forestry Center off Hwy. 29.
It has been placed on the Alabama List of Historic Places. I remembered that I took pictures of the house on a trip that I made to Solon Dixon in search of a Champion Tree several years ago.
I include the photo of the house and one of the tree.
For those of you who do not know what a Champion Tree is, it is a tree that is the biggest of its kind in an area. The oak tree is one of several champions within the county.
So if you decide to go out to Solon Dixon one day, don't forget to look at the tree in addition to the house. I might also suggest you purchase the little book they have in the house about the Dixon family. It is very interesting and informative.