Local volunteers and University of Kentucky students have spent over three years working on restoring Old Georgetown Cemetery, which is located on North Hamilton Street.

Historians say this is Georgetown’s first cemetery, when the city was known as Lebanon.

Over time gravestones toppled and were eventually covered with grass and dirt, but now volunteers are recovering those gravestones, cleaning and restoring them. Some people believe some gravestones were moved to the Georgetown Cemetery on Broadway Ave, but the actual graves remain behind in the Old Georgetown Cemetery. Historians have said that at least four Buffalo Soldiers remain buried in the Old Georgetown Cemetery.

Records for the historic cemetery are hard, if not impossible to find. Fires at the courthouse may have destroyed the records, but no one knows for certain.

The UK School of Anthropology has taken on the project along with a group of local volunteers such as Kim Vinegar, Terry Thomas and Jeffery Norman. Pratt Lawn and Landscaping has agreed to plant pink dogwood trees, and the volunteers hope to obtain a flag pole, historic markers and benches to eventually beautify the cemetery.

Many people have incorrectly assumed the cemetery was for black residents only, but historians have said there are people of many races buried there.

We congratulate and thank the volunteers who have spent so much time and effort restoring the cemetery and for bringing its historic significance to the forefront.

We encourage others who may have some knowledge — no matter how insignificant you may believe it is — to reach out and share that information with the volunteers.

Finally, we encourage the city, county and others who are interested in Georgetown’s heritage to offer encouragement and support in whatever manner possible so that this historic place can be restored to its proper place of significance.

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