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Old Taylorsville Cemetery - Pioneer Cemetery Needs To Be Protected

By Tom Watson,
Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Over the years, the city of Taylorsville has not been a good caretaker of its cemetery. For some time, the city said the Old Taylorsville Cemetery, also called The Pioneer Cemetery, was in the county. When it was proven the cemetery was within the city, there was no longer any reason for the city commission to ignore its upkeep.

The city was believed to have been doing its duty in the past few years, killing off the weeds and mowing, but therein may lie part of the problem of the destruction that has worsened at the Pioneer Cemetery.

From this writer's perspective, it appears there has been more vandalism at the cemetery in the form of downed and broken grave markers and the obvious damage to footstones, caused by the grinding of mower blades. Many of them look as if they've been ground down. Go look and see for yourself. Mr. Mayor, commissioners, have you visited the cemetery and observed what is happening?

Let's hope the city doesn't just mow helter skelter across downed markers and over footstones. If so, it is a violation of KRS 525.115 "Violating graves." The statute reads in part that a grave is violated by "destroying, removing or damaging the headstone or footstone or the tomb over the enclosure protecting any grave." All three have been violated in Taylorsville.

Violating a grave is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense.

Did anyone in the city administration tell the person or persons mowing in the cemetery to mow over the downed stones and not to worry about the mower grinding down the footstones? That would have been a Class A misdemeanor the first time and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense.

It is not the intention of this writer to call for the arrest of anyone for the damage done to the cemetery, except in cases involving intentional vandalism or destruction.

Improper mowing that destroys or further leads to the destruction of headstones and footstones is the responsibility of the city commission and the mayor.

This writer challenges Taylorsville Police to investigate vandalism in the cemetery because it falls under city jurisdiction. The city is challenged to investigate why the damage was allowed to continue, although mowing for the year is obviously complete.

Why cannot a sturdy, weather-proof sign be posted, warning that anyone vandalizing the cemetery will be prosecuted by the City of Taylorsville? Why can't a "Cemetery Passway" sign be posted at the bottom of the hill where the passway begins? It is a legal, deeded passway that has been blocked for some time by a junked truck that should be moved by the owner or towed at the owner's expense. People should be able to visit the graves of the people buried in the Pioneer Cemetery without interference.

It may be that mowing around headstones and footstones and trimming afterward is the only process that will work. In the future, as early as next spring, the city must inform anyone mowing in the cemetery that over headstones and footstone is absolutely forbidden, and it's against the law when it causes damage.

I hope you agree. If you have diaries, pictures, ledgers or anything historical you'd want to share with our readers, give me a call (502) 252-9991 (I live in Spencer County, but have one of those close-to-the-line phone numbers.) Write: Tom Watson, 5225 Little Union Rd., Taylorsville, Ky., 40071 or email apwriternews@yahoo.com


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