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Thread: Hurricane Rita, the devastation of nature

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    snowqueen's Avatar
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    Default Hurricane Rita, the devastation of nature

    Hi, in the chat room, many of you know that I am working on a "cemetery project". So, I thought I would use this forum to let you see what I'm talking about. The previous board for the cemetery had almost disbanded and we are putting it back together. We are doing this in order to refurbish a once beautiful cemetery and religious congregation that began in 1827. The first grave is dated 1844 and is one of the oldest in Calcasieu Parish. The demonination of the church is Primitive Baptist. On this site for serveral years was a beautifully simplistic and rustic church that was burned by vandals in 1997. Hurricane Rita has moved us to try to rebuild the church with the work of a Pro-bono architect who will only do the work if he can make the new church as historically correct as possible. In the pictures you will see below, there are approximately 35 "compromised" tombs. One is completely out of the ground. Almost all the tall cedar trees fell over and crashed the tombs and centuries old tombstombs which will have to be repaired in an historically accurate manner. Nature is very powerful! The name of the cemetery is Big Woods Cemetery in Edgerly Louisiana. Some people can find on the webpages as being one of the most haunted sites. We find as being one of the most beloved sites. The photos will show some work that has already begun. We've cut some trees so that cars can get by on the roads.

    One of the most unique experiences for me has been to learn that the original board consisted of mainly my family members. My Paw Paw (grand father), my great-uncle and a great-aunt on the other side of the family. Also there was a brother-in-law of a great-aunt on the original board. When I found this out, I almost feel that it is my destiny to help with the clean up and rebuilding of the church. I am in charge of grants and financial funding. To remove the trees alone will cost approximately 35,000 dollars. We don't know how much it will cost to repair the tombs and tombstones yet nor to rebuild the church, but it will get done! Anyways here what I'm up to! Be thinking about me!
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    Default

    You never cease to amaze me SQ. Always thinking of ways to help others.
    I wish you all the luck in the world on this project. Let me know if there is anything I an do to help! I'm about 6 hours west of you. Maybe we can plan a "clean-up day" and help clear out some of the trash/trees and maybe plant some new things!

    Have you thought about setting up a PayPal account and spreading the word to the community thru the newspaper? Maybe you will find some local business's or generous people to make contributions to the reconstruction efforts!
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    Then check this out!
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    Default Good idea Net!!

    My son is going to do an eagle scout project on it too! We are going to have several work days and to be honest, I never thought of setting up a PayPal account for it! We'd love to have help in cleaning up the cemetery. I got a more accurate account from the coroners office for the total cemetery. It's going to cost over $200,000.00 and that's not including the need for historical accuracy that goes into a cemetery that's on the historical register. And, it doesn't include the new church building. We have loads of work ahead, any help will be appreciated!! Thanks for your suggestions and your offers!! Love ya, Hilda

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    Default cemetery

    Snowqueen, what a monumental task, but such an admirable one. I own an old cemetary back home but its pretty much what is referred to as "The Potter's Field." My family has owned it for over 100 years and my great-granparents are at rest there. It is used for people who cannot affort a burial. My heart ached when I saw those tombstones.

    Couple of suggestions for you. If you have $1000 in the bank on reserve, you can call the cemetery "Perpetual Care." That allows you to still sell plots there, if that is possible at profitable rates.

    Also, considering the age of the graves, you may be able to get help from some of the historical associations.

    There is an association for old graves on the internet that may be able to help you. Google: Historical cemetary restoration. You should find something. It may vary by State, but given your situation, there may be government money available for you. I'll look for you when I get more time.

    Put up a mail box at the site. If others are coming to visit their families, they would probably be willing to help. Also, put a "Clean Up" announcement in the local paper and ask for donations of time, money, support and/or equipment assistance. Many people may not have money to spare, but they can still help.

    Good Luck! Benz.
    Dreams really do come true!

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    Default Thank you so much

    Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions!! We are involved with some of the organizations that you mentioned. But the other ideas are great! I think it's wonderful that you have "The Potter's Field". My heart aches when I go out to the cemetery, but I know that with others help and suggestions of my friends like you here on Tweleve, this will be done. I'm so sure of it! Many thanks!! Hilda

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    Default Similar Church

    Here is a photo of a church similar to the one that we will be trying to rebuild. It's not exact, but very similar in design. And set under the Big Woods.
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    Default church

    Snowqueen, have you tried sending letters to the churches of you affiliation or churches in your area? You may get some help there as well.
    Dreams really do come true!

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    Default that's coming next!

    I'm talking today with a church group called umcor, they build for under privedge people and do charity work. I'm hoping they will agree to do the building of the church for us. But, yes, I am planning on doing a writing campaign to the churches and such!! Thanks again and please keep the ideas coming! I can use all of them.

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    Default church

    Snowqueen, good luck! If I can help with any other research for you, please PM me. Peg
    Dreams really do come true!

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    Default Thanks so much!

    I'll let you know how it goes!

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