During March of 2002, Michael Davies of the Mississippi Stone Guild used the two oldest headstones at the cemetery for a demonstration of stone conservation techniques for a program sponsored by Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile. Conservation consisted of both applying epoxy to weak areas of the stone as well as gentle cleaning.
The granite headstones repaired belong to Elijah Simmons and Julius James and date to the first years of the cemetery's existence.
We are hoping that Mr. Davies will be able to set both stones back in their original positions when he is in Mobile again.
The third meeting of the Friends of Myers Cemetery Board of Directors took place in May in Mobile and in Panama City, Florida. Board members discussed plans to put the recently repaired oldest headstones back in their original places. They also discussed replacement of some slabs and headstones too badly damaged for repair.
The Friends of Myers Cemetery has been registered as a nonprofit organization with the State of California and with the Federal government since 2000.
The organization received a permit from the Alabama Historical Commission for three years to enable restoration to the cemetery. Current projects undertaken or that are being planned are the conservation of the two oldest headstones (accomplished) and their resetting into their former places (planned); using ground penetrating radar as a means to reverify earlier methods used to locate depressions and possible burial sites, building a wrought-iron fence with gate in the style of the original, according to documentary evidence.
With the November 1999 arrival of founder and Board of Directors President Bronya Feldmann in Mobile, the research committee of the Friends of Myers Cemetery intensified efforts to locate information that would shed light on the identities of the many individuals that lie in unmarked graves. Some exciting and fruitful discoveries included:
Records from the Whistler Methodist Episcopal Church proved extremely useful since they contained information about previous restoration efforts, including a drawing of the original wrought-iron cemetery fence and gate, and records of a few of the individuals buried at Myers, including many children.
On November 11, 1999, Bob Milea of Kenner, Louisianna, used a new technique called Real Time Thermal Imaging, based on infrared imaging, to survey Myers Cemetery for lost graves. Members of the news media were on hand to record the event, which was broadcast on Mobile's Channel 10 late evening news.
Milea found approximately 50 unmarked graves, including one immediately outside the fence line. One local historian believes this to be the grave of a homeless man who at one time rode the rails of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, based on another old timer's account. Why the man would have been buried adjacent to a private family cemetery, however, remains a mystery.