UAH, Buckhorn High School to partner and clean up historic cemetery in New Market this Saturday, May 16

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NEW MARKET, Ala. (WHNT) - Two groups will hold a cleanup at one of Madison County's oldest cemeteries this weekend, and you're invited to help them preserve the past.

The effort is called "Save Graveyard Hill" and will be held at Mount Paran Campground and Cemetery. It's on Winchester Road just north of New Market Barbecue, in fact, just a few houses north. There will be directional signs posted.

This Saturday's cleanup will start at 9 a.m.  Teams are watching the forecast, and if they make a determination to postpone the cleanup, they will decide by 7 that morning.

Patricia Cates, a UAH senior, is helping to organize the cleanup.  She discovered the cemetery during a walk in August 2014 and immediately brought it to the attention of Dr. John Kvach, professor of history and director of UAH's Center for Public History.

UAH partnered with Buckhorn High School's Historical Society on the first cleanup in October 2014 and the high school students were a huge help, Cates said.

"The thing I am most proud of in this endeavor is the students from Buckhorn and how the students are giving back to their community," said Cates. "I cannot tell you how much I appreciate how great the Buckhorn students are."

Close to 100 students from Buckhorn are involved in the effort.

Mount Paran Cemetery holds the final resting places for some of Madison County's first families as well as three Revolutionary War soldiers, six soldiers from the War of 1812 and more than 20 Civil War soldiers. Cates said there is an effort underway to identify all 400 people who are buried at Mount Paran.

"Graveyard Hill contains much of New Market's nearby history, and deserves to be saved for future generations," said Cates.

The plan is for UAH and Buckhorn to have a cleanup at the cemetery every six months.

See pictures of Mount Paran Cemetery below:

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