Fence installed to protect Fayetteville cemetery from vandals
Posted November 22, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — City officials are erecting a wrought-iron fence around Fayetteville's oldest cemetery, which has been targeted in recent years by vandals.
Cross Creek Cemetery No. 1, on North Cool Spring Street, is a national historic site, and some of the graves there date to colonial times.
"The people who are buried here are the people who built this community," said Michael Gibson, director of the Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation Department.
In August 2006, a man toppled more than 100 headstones in the cemetery, shattering many. The city hired one company to repair about 30 of the headstones and a second one to fix other markers that didn't need extensive restoration.
"The dollar amount to fix everything is off the chart," Gibson said.
So, Fayetteville City Council approved spending $85,000 to install a fence, which Gibson said would close off the area like a public park.
The first section of the fence already has kept walkers from cutting through the cemetery and littering, he said.
"We believe we're taking this step forward – we may be a little late – but we're taking this step forward now to say, 'Look, we value this community. We value the people who built this community,'" he said.
The fence, which will include chain-link sections along the cemetery's wooded back border, will take a year to install.