Disagreement Could Leave Greene County Cemetery Abandoned
Old Dundee Cemetery
A Greene County cemetery could be left abandoned if a disagreement is not settled over who is responsible for the property.
The descendants of the man who deeded the Old Dundee Cemetery say it belongs to a nearby church, but that church congregation says not so fast.
The grandchildren of George A. Haney say the Stanardsville Baptist Church needs to step up and help take care of the Old Dundee Cemetery, but the church argues they are not legally responsible for maintaining the property.
"They are the founding fathers. They have abandoned the founding fathers," said Grady Haney.
Grady Haney has been trying to maintain the grounds of Stanardsville's Old Dundee Cemetery for years, but says now, he needs some help.
"I'm 71 years old. I had open-heart surgery and walk around with a pacemaker. I'm getting a little bit too old to maintain this cemetery. I don't want to see it fall into ruins again," said Haney.
Grady's grandfather George deeded the land where the cemetery sits to Dundee Baptist Church in 1918.
A handful of the church's founders are buried at the gravesite.
"It was deeded to them on April 20, 1918 and it doesn't say in there that if the church moves or anything else that you stop having responsibility," said Marlene Wolf, one of Grady's cousins.
The church relocated and is now known as Stanardsville Baptist Church, but Stanardsville Baptist says they have never been involved in maintaining the cemetery since it was established in 1928.
"I don't understand why they would turn the backs on the people who were founders of Standardsville Baptist Church," said Walter Haney.
In an email response to NBC29, the Stanardsville Baptist Church Council said a motion was made on July 10 that stated, "With no legal obligation to maintain the Dundee Cemetery, we feel we should not take on the maintenance responsibility of the cemetery property, at this time."
"I just want to see someone come in and take the initiative to say that this cemetery will never ever, ever go into the ruins that it was in when I took it over and started to work with it," said Haney.
Haney says the church has both a legal and a moral obligation to ensure those buried aren't forgotten.
Greene County's commissioner of revenue did confirm that the property where the cemetery sits is is tax-exempt.
Stanardsville Baptist says it feels like the matter has been resolved, but the Haney family hopes the church will reconsider its decision.
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Saturday, April 19 2014 6:51 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:51:42 GMT
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