Report: Ocala allowed city's first cemetery to fall into ruin
A report by the Ocala Post website charges that the city has allowed the community's first cemetery to fall into ruin, with vandalized, decaying gravesites, overgrown shrubbery, broken and missing headstones and purposely destroyed fencing.
"Veterans, civilian citizens, babies and young children now rest in graves that have become nothing more than a pile of rubble," the story said.
The Historic Ocala Preservation organized volunteers to clean up and restore the cemetery a decade ago even though it was under city ownership, the website reported.
No upkeep has taken place since then, the report said, adding that questions to the city and its mayor about the cemetery's condition "have gone unanswered."
According to the historical marker placed at the site by Marion County, the cemetery was reserved as the first public burial ground for Ocala and includes the graves of the city's founders and of Confederate and Union veterans of the Civil War. Free and enslaved "Negro residents" are interred nearby, the marker says.