Saturday, July 23, 2011

Brahan-Patton Cemetery

If there is one thing everyone should agree on it's the necessity for preserving the past, especially cemeteries. Obviously many family cemeteries have been lost over the years, and many more have not been maintained. One cemetery to fall into the latter category is the burial ground located on the Sweetwater plantation east of Florence.

Until recently, the cemetery had gone to scrub. No matter what one may think of the methods being used to restore the plantation house or the cemetery, there has been some good to come from these efforts. As of July 1st, the Brahan/Patton/Weeden family cemetery has been declared the Brahan-Patton Cemetery by the Alabama Historical Commission. Surprisingly, the cemetery was submitted to the commission by an anonymous individual not connected to owner Susan Leigh Smithson or the current Sweetwater committee.

Will this make the property harder to sell to a business developer? My source believes that it will. Let's hope this is another step in finding an owner who will commit to the property's restoration. Collection jars at First Fridays don't go very far when millions are required...


Looking at the official list of historic cemeteries in Alabama, it's surprising to note how few are from Lauderdale, Colbert, and Franklin. If you know of a cemetery that needs to be preserved or just listed, please visit this site: