Watkins Street job is rescue work

Published 11:08 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

While your article of March 10 concerning the 100-year-old Watkins Street Cemetery was much appreciated by those involved with its rescue, there are a few points that need clarification.

Master Gardeners of Adams County and other volunteers have done much, much more than simply beautify a cemetery. Much of the grounds, including the acres containing the mass graves of the many victims of the Rhythm Night Club fire, had been swallowed by decades of overgrowth.

Master Gardeners and Grow Natchez Gardens organization made donations that made it possible to hire heavy equipment to clear much of the Rhythm Night Club site. The result is that the four mass graves have been located and plantings are under way in honor of those who lost their lives so tragically. Thanks to a generous fundraising tea given by Regina Charboneau, more reclamation was possible and needed after the Dec. 9 storms downed many mature trees at the cemetery.

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It has been a heroic effort to reclaim this historic place, led by valiant Mrs. Thelma White, who at the age of 85 had been hoeing weeds from the grounds herself.

It is an important part of Natchez and needs continual maintenance.

It has been gratifying to be part of such a dramatic transformation, and to participate in such a worthy community effort.

Karen Dardick

Natchez resident