Historic cemetery to be scanned with radar

By Ben Woods

Volunteers cleaning up Macedonia Cemetery are one step closer to having a ground penetrating radar machine scan for unmarked gravesites. 
“I think everybody is excited about the result of the radar and we will actually know if there are graves under rocks that we believe mark some of the graves,” said Sam Higdon. 
Mason Garrett and Higdon, under the direction of the cemetery association, have been heading up a project to clean up and restore the historic Macedonia Cemetery. The cleanup started in early February -- and it has been quite a project considering the underbrush and trees that had taken over. 
“I want to thank all the volunteers and also the volunteers from the Macedonia Church, all the people who have taken part -- it is too numerous to mention everyone,” said Higdon. “This is not only about recovering the lost burial site and getting their proper designation along with restoration, but increasing the size of the cemetery and redoing the boundaries and putting up the fence in the proper place,” said Higdon. 
They plan on having another cleanup day on Saturday, July 1 before they have the Texas Cemetery Restoration Team come in with the ground penetrating radar to locate the unmarked graves. 
“The main objective right now is getting the cemetery prepared for the ground penetrating radar,” said Higdon. 
The portion of the cemetery to be scanned will be marked off in a grid pattern, in two foot intervals, and rebar will mark the grid corners in the event the grid need to be reconstructed in the future. 
After the radar scan is completed, it will be processed with software that will produce 2D and 3D maps showing anomalies that might be graves. 
The size of the area to be scanned is approximately one acre and the project will take approximately two days to complete. The cost of the radar survey is being paid for by an anonymous donor. 
As they discover unmarked graves using this non-invasive radar they will mark them with stainless steel discs. 
“We have also talked about maybe putting something nicer in the future, such as crosses or plaques,” said Higdon. 
“Larry Grubbs who is a local surveyor is donating his services to determine the boundary lines of the cemetery,” said Higdon. 
“I am going to work with the cemetery association to get experts in the field of cemetery preservation to show us how to start cleaning up the existing cemetery, such as cleaning the tombstones -- and they already do a fantastic job of keeping it maintained, but there are tombstones that are starting to fall over,” said Higdon. “With everyone’s consent we are hoping to put us some type of entrance and designate it as the Macedonia Cemetery with a walkway and a plaque about the cemetery.”

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (5 votes)