A gift of amazing ‘Grace’

Published 11:50 pm Sunday, May 12, 2024

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There’s been a barn raising here at the Natchez City Cemetery and its completion is near — the new and highly anticipated Grace Manning Maintenance Facility.

A generous gift from the Grace Manning Estate has made this project possible. Grace Manning was a successful businesswoman who traveled extensively. Born in Natchez in 1927 and a resident of Waterproof, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas, Ms. Manning recognized and respected the efforts of those who work behind the scenes to make endeavors successful. She had a love for the Natchez City Cemetery and graciously bequeathed a gift of $400,000 to be used by the cemetery association for a project to benefit the ongoing care of the cemetery. Her family agreed that constructing a much-needed modern maintenance facility would perfectly align with her wishes. In the foreground of the existing 100+ year old cemetery barn, you’ll see this newly built structure. With its exterior color that’s gorgeous “Natchez” green, we think it fits right in. Included in the 2,100 square foot space is an equipment barn as well as an employee support facility and public restroom. There is also a picnic area for employees to enjoy lunch outside when the weather is favorable.

We are looking forward to the completion of this project and herewith extend an invitation to the public to celebrate with us! All are invited to attend our celebratory Open House here on the grounds of the Natchez City Cemetery on Sunday, May 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come take a walk in and around this new space and see for yourself why we are so proud of your city cemetery’s beautiful new facility. This celebration will be a festive, picnic- style event with fun for the entire family. Further details will be announced in May.

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While you are on the grounds, we also invite you to take a tour and explore what all your cemetery has to offer. Walk or drive amongst the beautiful live oak trees and take a trip back in time as you learn about the history of some of our known (and not so known) Natchezians and Natchoosians.

Now that we are nearing the construction completion of the Grace Manning Maintenance Facility, our new focus is to furnish this new building and landscape its surrounding site with items that will not only support our staff’s day-to-day activities but also complement the style and functionality of the space. These furnishings include seating benches, tables and chairs, industrial shelving, and various items needed to support our maintenance staff. If you or your business is interested in supporting us in this endeavor, please contact the Natchez City Cemetery at 601.445.5051.

Plan to join us on May 19 – Save the date! Come celebrate the amazing legacy of the amazing Grace Manning.

Cyndy Stevens is a volunteer at the Natchez City Cemetery.