Improvements continue at Helena’s Harmony Graveyard

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

HELENA — Continuing their mission of respecting those who have come before them, Helena’s Scout Troop 2 returned to Historic Harmony Graveyard Oct. 31 for general cleanup and improvements to the area.

The troop began their cleanup mission on Sept. 12 where they made several improvements such as clearing brush, weed eating, mowing, uncovering graves and other general improvements to make an improvement to the site.

“Doing projects like this gives the scouts the feeling of doing the right thing for the right reason,” Tolbert explained. “No one is taking care of the cemetery, which is a bridge to the past. It has been forgotten by us. When Ms. Lawson mentioned it, we knew it required nothing but time, and we have plenty of time right now.”

During the first cleanup, Scoutmaster Lane Tolbert said that the troop noticed several sunken graves and wanted to return to make improvements to those as well.
At this second visit the troop “filled in some sunken graves, uncovered a headstone of a Spanish American Veteran, and generally cleaned it up,” according to Tolbert.

Tolbert echoed his sentiments that the idea behind cleaning up the cemetery was to acknowledge those who lived here before them, and the preserve the site as a “bridge to the past.”

Tolbert said that after doing some research he learned of the site’s history which dates back to the early 1800s, where many former slaves, coal miners and poor people were buried in the cemetery with unmarked graves.

The scout was assisted by other community members and Dawn Lawson, who originally suggested the idea to Tolbert and the troop.