Business owner seeks to rebuild Magnolia Cemetery wall

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - One local business owner is picking up a shovel to help save the character in Augusta’s city-owned cemeteries.

Jim Farmer owns Augusta Concrete Block Company and was at Magnolia Cemetery looking for a friend’s grave when he noticed a huge hole in the historic brick wall. At the same time, his friend, Ed Rice, was visiting his ancestors’ graves.

“Earlier last year, each tombstone had a stone cross on the top,” said Rice, referring to his ancestors’ graves.

The stone crosses are no more.

“I came last week and saw this tomb had been knocked over,” said Rice.

Farmer was a few yards away, looking for the grave of a friend. He doesn’t have any family in Magnolia but was just visiting.

“These walls just make part of it, the character of it,” said Farmer.

The character is now crumbling down with the wall.

Rice said: “It’s like a breach in the city wall of old. Barbarians for the gates have been knocked down.”

Farmer said: “Anybody can hop this wall easily, so maybe we put it back and help secure the place a little bit.”

Farmer’s goal is to bring back a sense of security and character to the wall. He called Augusta Parks and Recreation. Once they sign all the paperwork, they have the green light to go.

“We’re gonna take this whole section you can see down about 30 feet, probably,” said Farmer. “We’re gonna take it back down to this base down here, which seems to be in pretty good shape, and work around the tree because we want to keep the tree. It’s gonna take a while to clean all the brick up.”

It’s a little more work than expected, but Farmer is determined.

“This is something that’s kind of, in my field,” said Farmer. “So I see this and I go, ‘Oh, yeah, I could probably do something about that easier than I can go cut, how many acres of grass, you know, or fix a headstone.’ I figured I could just, you know, take on a little project and get it done.”

The goal is the take all of the bricks, clean them by hand, and work from the ground up using the same old bricks.