Within two years, the Northside cemeteries were filled with mountains of trash, old furniture, snakes, scattered caskets and sunken graves in open 6-foot holes. In a Times Union story on the subject, Janie Madry said that "The sites were dangerous for anyone who came to visit"  Ms. Madry, headed a city cemetery steering committee in '97. Madry recalls finding trash all over her mother's grave in one of the cemeteries. ''Someone had dumped garbage all over Mama,'' said Madry.

Mt. Olive: Jacksonville's abandoned cemetery images 


Images by Rachel Halabi

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that city policy assesses tax liens on unpaid property taxes for cemetaries.  Such is the case in many across the city, including Mount Olive and anyone who purchases the property would be required to pay the back taxes. Historic preservation grants are available through the state, but they are hard to get, McEachin said. No one is sure what the solution is. The city can't afford to take care of them all.

Mt. Olive: Jacksonville's abandoned cemetery images