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Grant doesn't include cemetery
Funding focuses on historical sites in Northwest Decatur

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

A $10,000 Alabama Historical Commission grant that will survey historical sites in Decatur does not include the Garth Cemetery on Danville Road Southwest.

The bulk of the property included in the application is in Northwest Decatur, according to Melinda Dunn, who manages the Old State Bank building.

On Monday, the council authorized Mayor Don Kyle to accept the grant, which includes a $2,000 city match.

Dunn, who helped prepare the application, said the grant is focusing on the Northwest because this is where historical sites are "in most imminent danger" of being lost.

She said the grant does cover a small area in Southwest Decatur that includes properties south of West Moulton Street between Central Parkway and Memorial Drive.

She said the area extends to near West Decatur Elementary School.

She said she will seek another grant to identify historical places in Austinville, which will include the cemetery.

Garth Cemetery, which is one of the oldest in Decatur, is less than a mile from West Decatur Elementary.

It's not visible from Danville Road because of a snake-infested thicket.

Family members who own the property say they are willing to donate the cemetery to the city.

The cemetery is historically important to Decatur because it houses the remains of Jesse Winston Garth, a War of 1812 veteran and one of Decatur's founding fathers.

Garth, Isaac Lane, McKinney Holderness, George Peck and Dr. Henry Rhodes were the first directors of Decatur Land Co., which laid out the city's streets.

Unlike the others, Garth remained in the area and owned one of the largest plantations in Morgan County.

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