Records show the graves in Evergreen Cemetery date back to 1854. The cemetery changed ownership several times before it was purchased by the city of Ocean Springs in 1974.
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -
Limited burial space in a historic Ocean Springs cemetery has city
officials looking for creative ways to determine who gets a plot. Ocean
Springs will soon start selling plots in Evergreen Cemetery, a burial
ground that dates back pre-Civil war. But only a lucky few will be able to
call it their final resting place.
The graves tell the life
stories of the people who built Ocean Springs. Records show burials at
the Evergreen Cemetery go back as far as 1854.
"You can see it in
the names when you see the street names and what buildings are named
after. These are all these people that paved the way," Ocean Springs
City Clerk Shelly Ferguson said. "It has beautiful history. It is one of
the most beautiful cemeteries that we've seen."
The city bought
Evergreen Cemetery, which is on Fort Bayou, nearly 40 years ago.
Officials said a bulkhead added in 2003 made some additional plots
available. However, the 100 or so plots about to go up for sale are in
the open spaces within the heart the cemetery. To make sure the open
spaces aren't actually unmarked graves, crews went through with sonar.
went through every open space in the cemetery and if there was any
anomalies, we knew not to use that as potential space," said Ferguson.
"Then we had the entire cemetery surveyed and then plots laid. Now we're
finally ready to start selling them."
City officials said with Evergreen's rich history, it didn't take long for people to express interest in being buried there.
"Because their family is here and being from Ocean Springs. Coming out here, it's beautiful," she said.
it became clear there wouldn't be enough final resting places to go
around to everyone who wanted one, the city came up with a plan for a
"Due to so much interest, we thought that having a
random drawing would be the most fair was to sell them," Ferguson said.
"We have applications available at city hall or on our website. It is a
maximum of four plots per household. You fill out an application and it
needs to be turned in by January 4th. Then on January 14th, we will do
Ocean Springs officials say burial plots are $3,000
each and urn plots are $1,500. They said there will be some adjoining
plots offered in the sale.
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