Help for historic crumbling Messina Springs Cemetery in DeWitt

Drivers by the thousands pass it every day and many can't help but notice the sad state of the Messina Springs Cemetery off James Street. The tiny cemetery sits near Mother's Cupboard restaurant, not far from the Thomson Road intersection.

Many of the grave markers are in terrible shape with cracks. Some are out of place because vandals have targeted the cemetery for years. Some of the grave markers date to the 1800's. Some of the vandalism dates to the 1970's. For decades no one maintained the cemetery, which is the final resting place of at least one Civil War solider.

Now after all this time, and so much disrepair, there is a plan to show some respect to this piece of local history. The Town of DeWitt is now responsible for the cemetery thanks to a state law that says any cemetery that falls out of ownership becomes the responsibility of the municipality in which it is located.

DeWitt has already started mowing the lawn, and it will take bids on erecting a fence to keep vandals out. However, more extensive work must be done if the cemetery is to ever look like a proper burial site again. DeWitt Councilor Jamie Frank says town leaders will start to discuss that next week. It is possible the town could come up with a plan to right some of the downed headstones and clean up the cemetery which remains an eyesore.