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African American Cemetery Clean-Up

Updated: Wednesday, January 23 2013, 10:20 PM EST

A forgotten African American cemetery in Macon County is being cleared for the first time in decades. The cemetery was part of the New Hope Church outside Franklin, but hasn't been used since the 1940's.

Local Boy Scout Andrew Baldwin discovered the overgrown grave markers while hiking. He got county leaders to declare it abandoned, clearing the way for him to clear the site and earn his Eagle Scout badge. Work started on Martin Luther King Day, with members of Western Carolina Universitys Eagle Scout fraternity.

93-year-old Josephine Burgess has family buried there and looks forward to it being restored. More clearing work for the cemetery is planned.

Andrew Baldwin hopes to earn Eagle Scout status this spring.

By Rex Hodge

African American Cemetery Clean-Up

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