Over the past two weeks, Joey Fernandez of Preserving Our Georgia Cemeteries has been working in Zion Hill Cemetery in Monroe restoring some of the broken markers. In addition, Randy Brennan from Omega Mapping has used GPR to locate more graves. These services were the result of 2020 grants, one that the Monroe Museum received from the Walker Foundation for the restoration as well as others from the Garden Club of Georgia and the National Council for Preservation Education that were awarded to the “Friends of Zion Hill Cemetery” project and were used for the GPR mapping.
With these grants, Elizabeth Jones was able to get to continue her work on recovering and marking the graves in the African American cemetery in Monroe. According to Jones, Brennan said there could be more than 1,000 graves in the historic cemetery by the time they finish.
Darrell Everidge of Darrell Productions was on hand to interview Jones and Brennan on these latest projects. Click or tap on the link below to see the interview on Youtube.
In a past Walton Living Magazine,Alanna King wrote in the article on the efforts to revive the Zion Hill Cemetery in Monroe. At the time she wrote, “If not for Elizabeth Jones, the history might have remained buried deep within the ground as generations passed and the history was long forgotten. Luckily, the Monroe citizen and First African Church member saw a need to reveal and preserve the African-American history of her town and got to work. Jones is currently pursuing her third master’s degree from the University of Georgia in historic preservation, and while working on a mill project she caught wind of the abandoned cemetery on Alcovy Road.”
Jones has continued that work for a couple of years now, with the help of volunteers. She said with the latest grants, she was able to use the services of Fenandez to level a section of Blasengame markers.