About a year ago, employees of Aiken Rescue Inc. volunteered to help clean up Pine Lawn Cemetery off Hampton Street.
Now they have every intention of continuing to do so, said the organization’s director, Janet Murphy, as about two dozen staffers and family members worked for more than five hours on Saturday.
“We’ve been coming every time for a cleanup,” she said. “But now we’ve decided to come back and adopt a section of the road. We’ll maintain it and keep it up and still come out with the rest of the community at other times.”
For more than 100 years, into the 1950s, Pine Lawn was the only cemetery in Aiken where black people could be buried. Now it is invaluable for its history, and in 2007 was listed in the National Register.
Coleen Reed, active in many community endeavors, has taken part in recording the names of many of those at Pine Lawn.
“We’re delighted with the commitment from Aiken Rescue,” Reed said. “They’re cutting the grass, weed-whacking and cleaning up the plots and gravestones. This group is just amazing, and they’ve got young people out there who are cadets with Aiken Rescue.”
Anthony Dennis, joined on the project by his daughter Ambica, said it was a chance to imagine the lives of some of those buried at Pine Lawn.
“It’s fun to be here spending time with my dad,” said Ambica. “I recognized some names here from my history class.”
Deborah Greer, a Pine Lawn board member, said she was moved to get that role. She came out Saturday and was pleased to see the efforts of the Aiken Rescue volunteers.
“They are awesome,” Greer said. “It shows that the community does pull together.”