Brazelton Family Cemetery

My name is Collins Wynn, and I am 74 years old; I am a native of Huntsville, Alabama and a current resident of Orange Beach, Alabama.  I am a member of the Brazelton family discussed here.  My family discovered a long-lost family cemetery in the eastern portion of Madison County (Big Cove), Alabama around 2005.  This cemetery contains the remains of 33 American pioneers 9 of whom are direct descendants of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame.  They are all members of the First Family of Madison County through their patriarch, Henry Brazelton, who settled here in 1807.  The first burial was Ann Hunt Knox Hinds in 1853 followed by the last in 1966.  Since our discovery, the cemetery has been surrounded by an upscale residential neighborhood and this funding effort is partly to insure we are good neighbors.  Members of the Brazelton Family hold the deed to the 64'x64' parcel of land which constitutes the cemetery.  Family members have invested significant time, effort, and money in restoring the cemetery over the past 15 years in that all graves are now marked with individual granite markers; the grounds have been improved and we now have a contracted monthly maintenance program; and, the cemetery is now officially recognized by the Alabama Historical Commission as being historically significant and marked with a large bronze personalized marker. 

We are now concerned for the future welfare of the property as the City of Huntsville, Alabama has stated they will not provide assistance in the maintenance of this historical cemetery either through labor, management, or funding so we are reduced to devising other methods of insuring the memorial cemetery survives and prospers into the future.  A wealth of background information including all relevant maps and legal surveys appear on the Brazelton Cemetery Facebook page along with contact information for the cemetery coordinator (facebook.com/BrazeltonCemetery).

Presently we are at the stage of completing the renovation through several projects – some by labor and some by funding.  Although granite stones are in place for each deceased person (even the two who are unknown) they have yet to be set into the ground as they should be.  We have engaged our maintenance contractor to bring an appropriate number loads of fill dirt to the site and to fill level all graves that are sunken (a constant chore in a cemetery of this type).  The two neighbors (each side of our access route) have suggested several ways to landscape and improve the uphill walkway to the cemetery entrance through some grading activity and the placement of timbers to create a stepped walkway.  To maintain the appearance in keeping with the general décor of the neighborhood we feel it is necessary to install upgraded fencing identical to that already in use there and to begin a long term landscaping project with appropriate biannual plants.  It may be appropriate to install water at the site as well as commercial power-because of requirements of the homeowner’s association it would be necessary these utilities be buried.

In our estimation 6 family members have spent around $10,000 in capital improvements to this point with maintenance expenditures running just short of an additional $1,000 annually.  The final capital improvements mentioned above should cost +- $10,000-$12,000.  Upon reaching our GoFundMe goal of $30,000 we will be able to complete our capital projects and provide for the annual operation of the cemetery for 20 years (through 2040).  After that time, we expect other family members to come forward and continue to care for our ancestors.  My era family members and I are feeling the pressure of years to leave the world with a plan and an organization in place to care for these pioneers.

Thank you,

 

Collins Wynn
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