Forsyth community bonds over historic cemetery upkeep

Boy Scouts, historical society and homeowner group give Cool Springs Cemetery TLC

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Nearly 50 people have recently worked to restore a neglected cemetery, giving dignity to the resting place of early Forsyth County settlers.

Surrounded by its ornate picket fence, the small and historic Cool Springs Cemetery has experienced some changes thanks to a Boy Scout and his troop, the county’s historical society members and the Lake Forest community.

“It has been extremely gratifying to utilize private funds and a volunteer effort to restore Cool Springs Cemetery to a sacred site,” said Chuck Calhoun, president of the Lake Forest Homeowners Association. “There is new life in an old historic cemetery.”

The cemetery’s history dates back to circa 1841. The site was created next to the former Cool Springs Methodist Church. The cemetery hosted burials into the late 1800s.

The restoration project was the idea of Chase McFarling, 18, of North Forsyth High School.

McFarling said he wanted a challenging project to attain his Eagle Scout rank.

“What attracted me to the cemetery was its history and my Christian faith,” McFarling said. “It makes me feel good knowing that the people buried in the cemetery now have a proper burial.”

Dugald Monroe (born in 1797), an early settler in Forsyth County, and his wife Nancy are buried here.

“The homeowners association has been trying to keep it up, and they’ve been doing a good job,” said Myra Reidy, vice president of the county’s historical society and descendent of the Monroes.

The historical society also successfully identified 23 previously unknown gravesites within the picket fence cemetery area.

There were 46 people who attended McFarling’s ground maintenance workday on Aug. 4. This team included the Historical Society of Forsyth County (HSOFC), the Lake Forest Homeowners Association (HOA) and Boy Scouts of America.

Among the improvements were crosses adorning each gravesite, produced by the Scouts, and a dedicatory plaque identifying the cemetery and its history.

About 30 brown crosses now garnish the plot of hallowed ground, commemorating those who set the foundation of this county.

The Lake Forest HOA paid for the removal of diseased trees from the cemetery.

The removal will prevent the trees from damaging neighboring homes.