Philadelphia’s Mt. Ary Cemetery in need of major care


Tucked away where the forest grows wild and the birds and insects sing is the old African American Mt. Ary Cemetery that was abandoned more than 50 years ago. Dozens of people are laid to rest in this cemetery. Many of the tombstones are not visible due to major plant overgrowth. Military recruiter David Carter said the cemetery’s condition is heartbreaking.

“It’s really sad. I almost wanted to cry the first time I was back in there. 50 years from now that could be me. It would be nice to know we could take better care of not just our veterans, but everybody buried back there,” said Carter.

Carter said the graves belonging to veterans are not even correctly marked.

“There’s over 50 people buried in this cemetery and what’s really sad is there are several veterans and they’re not properly marked. The tombstones are down. What’s really depressing is someone was back there deer hunting and they took the time to clear a spot for the deer hunting but couldn’t for the rest of it,” said Carter.

The cemetery has been around since the 1800’s, but Carter said it has received no care in decades. He’s hoping Neshoba Central JROTC will change that.

“The plan right now is to find someone who can donate an hour or two of bush hog time. Once we get the area cleared out and safe, Chief Paige with Neshoba Central JROTC is looking at it as a possible project for the cadets to come in and some weed eating, clean the grave markers and put them back up,” said Carter.