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Community effort rescues Turning Angel

The Turning Angel statue in the Natchez City Cemetery is back intact overlooking the graves of five young girls who perished in a 1908 drug company fire.

The owner of the drug company had the statue placed to honor their short lives and protect their graves. The statue stood guard over those graves for more than 100 years until June this year when a young man in a reckless act of vandalism climbed onto the statue’s pedestal and began rocking the statue until it fell over, breaking a wing.

No one is sure exactly why the suspect did what he did but witnesses said alcohol was involved.

Nonetheless, the city came to the rescue and donated more than $17,000 to have the statue repaired.

Natchez City Cemetery Board members chose the best company they believed suited for the job to do the repairs and it also just so happens that Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, the company the board hired, also was the lowest bidder.

Emily Ford, of Oak and Laurel, and her assistant, Corey Douglas, completed the restoration work on the angel this week and the results are outstanding.

The Turning Angel is back on its pedestal and except for a fracture line along the back of the right wing, it as if nothing ever happened.

Other volunteers, including Dave Pace of Brookhaven Monument Company, his employees and volunteer Adolph Wagner of Church Hill placed the statue back on its pedestal a few weeks ago for no charge.

Great work by all, including cemetery board members, volunteers, Oak and Laurel, and most of all, the citizens who donated money to the cause. Enough money was raised to add security to the cemetery.

Thanks for the efforts and may the Turning Angel stand guard over the graves for many more years.

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