FLORENCE — The Lauderdale County Commission is moving forward with turning over a portion of a county road that runs through the middle of an old historical cemetery.
Armstead Cemetery located west of Alabama 20, according to members of the cemetery’s association, dates back to before the Civil War. Through research, it has been discovered that Armstead Cemetery Road, which runs through the cemetery from Lauderdale 200 and Lauderdale 282, is on top of some graves.
After being informed that the roadway is on the graves, the County Commission authorized county engineer, Ken Allamel, and county attorney, Chris Smith, to begin the process of vacating that section of road and report back to the commission.
Commissioners were updated on the process this week during a work session.
Smith said according to research, the road was once a very narrow wagon trail prior to the county taking it over.
“After years of maintaining the road, it was widened,” Smith said.
He said after visiting the cemetery and talking with the members of the cemetery association, “I believe the road is on top of some of the old graves.”
He said the county is looking at vacating about 350 feet that runs through the cemetery.
Allamel said a survey of the roadway and a legal description of the section to be vacated have been completed.
Smith said the next step is to do a title search to identify all and any property owners that could be affected by the vacation of the roadway. He said once that is completed the plans to vacate the roadway will be advertised for four consecutive weeks and then a public hearing will be held at a commission meeting, prior to the regular business meeting.
“Once the commission holds the public hearing they can go forward and act one way or the other on the recommendation,” Smith said.
County officials said they hope to be in position to begin the advertising phase within a few weeks.
Officials with the Armstead Cemetery Association said there are more than 100 graves in the cemetery, and the group has found 48 graves that are unmarked.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.