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How you can help clean up a vandalized graveyard
A monument for the Rev. William Jackson Pirkle (1828-92) and his wife, Sarah Ann Canning (1831-85) was among those vandalized at the Mt. Moriah Church cemetery. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

A Girl Scout from Forsyth County and members from the local historical society are looking for help to clean up a vandalized historic cemetery in north Forsyth.

From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, Abigail Waits and members of the Historical Society of Cumming/Forsyth County, will host a workshop on restoring the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Coal Mountain at the Historical Society, located at the Cumming Schoolhouse, 101 School Street, before going on a clean up at the site.

After the small cemetery fell into disrepair after being vandalized in 2014, Waits decided to clean up the graveyard for her Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Waits said during a recent cleanup, 36 gravestones and field stones, of 65 individuals buried in the cemetery, were found.  

According to FCN coverage from 2014, grave markers at the cemetery date from 1880 to 1930.

At the workshop, volunteers will learn how to clean tombstones and “bring the cemetery back to its original beauty” before heading to the cemetery, which is behind the Coal Mountain Animal Hospital.

Volunteers should expect to get dirty and dress for the weather and are encouraged to bring a lunch, rubber gloves and soft, medium-sized brushes. Wire brushes should not be brought due to potential damage to gravestones.

To RSVP, contact Waits at