Sen. Malloy secures over $526K grant for historic cemetery repairs

Officials present the larger of the two checks for the Historic Renovations of Greenlawn and Marion Avenue Cemeteries in Hartsville. (L-R) Mrs. Davita Malloy, Hartsville City Mgr. Daniel Moore, Sen. Gerald Malloy, Mrs. Adlena Graham (former Hartsville City Councilmember and decades-long advocate), Hartsville Mayor Casey Hancock and Hartsville City Councilmember Teresa Mack. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Councilmember Teresa Mack says the prayer as City Mgr. Daniel Moore bows his head.

Former Councilmember Johnnie Andrews, a longtime advocate of the historic cemeteries, speaks to the crowd as Sen. Gerald Malloy looks on.

Senator Gerald Malloy, who acquired the grants for the City of Hartsville, speaks to the crowd.

Former Councilmember and longtime advocate of the historic black cemeteries, Mrs. Adlena Graham recited many memories and experiences she has had.


By Stephan Drew, Editor

On Monday, July 1st, Hartsville celebrated a significant milestone with a presentation ceremony dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Greenlawn and Marion Avenue Cemeteries. Senator Gerald Malloy, who worked diligently to secure over $526,000 for these projects, was at the forefront of the event. The funding, provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, was aimed at preserving these culturally and historically significant sites.

Both cemeteries are of immense cultural value to Hartsville, especially to the African American community. Greenlawn Cemetery will receive $167,976.66, while Marion Avenue Cemetery will be allocated $358,418.75. These cemeteries are vital historical, architectural, and archaeological artifacts that offer direct insights into the community’s past.

Mayor Casey Hancock expressed deep gratitude for Senator Malloy’s leadership, stating, “We are deeply grateful for Senator Malloy’s leadership and dedication to improving our community. This grant takes a needed step towards preserving our heritage and ensuring these sacred sites remain accessible and respected for generations to come.”

The restoration project addresses crucial preservation needs, preventing these sites from becoming inaccessible due to erosion, overgrowth, and weathering. The City of Hartsville recognizes the importance of this initiative not only in preserving historical resources but also in honoring the final resting places of past generations.

This project marks the first phase of a larger planning process that includes securing the properties and making general improvements. Specific enhancements for Greenlawn Cemetery include ornamental fencing, brick entrance signage, paving of the drive gate, and comprehensive landscaping and irrigation. For Marion Avenue Cemetery, the plans include new sidewalks and a parking lot, ornamental fencing, drive and pedestrian gates with gate columns, and enhanced landscaping and irrigation.

A notable figure in this endeavor is 92-year-old Adlena Graham, who served on the Hartsville Colored Cemetery Association and has worked tirelessly over the past 30 years to preserve and restore it. The Hartsville Colored Cemetery Association was incorporated in 1904 by eight trustees, who initially purchased one acre of land for the cemetery. Additional land was acquired in 1931, expanding the cemetery’s grounds.

The cemeteries are the final resting place for numerous notable individuals, including Professor H.H. Butler, 40 veterans from the Spanish American War through Vietnam, several formerly enslaved persons, and influential community members like Hattie Cooley, Edward Flemming, Sam Jackson, Alex Wright, Jesse Harrison, and Rev. L.E. Young. Many individuals who migrated north for employment in the early 20th century were returned to Hartsville for burial.

Senator Malloy emphasized the importance of caring for these cemeteries, stating, “We are sending a message from this cemetery that they may be gone, but they are not forgotten.”

Author: Stephan Drew

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