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Members of the Hearn family are collecting donations for the restoration of a cemetery in Georgia where some of our ancestors are buried. Instigator of this project is Will Hearn, son of Thomas Hearn, who is the son of Kermit, Aubrey Hearn's brother [Thomas Hearn is past President of Wake Forest University]. Following are parts of two letters from Will describing the condition of the cemetery when he located it and what needs to be done to clean it up.

The Hearnville Cemetery

Dear Friends:

As some of you may know, I recently visited the gravesite of my great great great great great grandfather, Jonathon Hearne (b. 1760) at Hearnville cemetery, Georgia. The graves of his sons Lot and Capt. William Hearne and their wives are also there. My direct ancestor and another brother of Lot, Samuel, is not buried there. The cemetery is located about nine miles outside of Eatonton, Georgia on the road to Godfrey, Georgia. Unfortunately, the site is well overgrown with trees and underbrush and we were very lucky to find it with the help of local residents. The slabs and headstones are cracked and broken, and I fear that this place will be lost to future generations if we don't take action to preserve this piece of history.

It is a significant place for reasons beyond family history. Lot, of course, left a significant sum of money ($12,500) to the Cave Spring school (which became the Hearn Academy) upon his death in 1844. The school remained in operation until 1925 and is currently under restoration; it is the meeting place for the Cave Spring Historical Society and a beautiful small town. Additionally, William and Lot were lifelong members of the Antioch Baptist Church, well known as a cornerstone of revivalism in central Georgia in the nineteenth century...

My goal is to clean up the site, fence it in, and erect an historic marker to commemorate the Hearnville cemetery. Both the Cave Spring Historical Society and the Eatonton Historic Commission have been favorable towards this, although we may incur some financial responsibility for the marker and cleanup.

We anticipate spending at least $5,000 on cleanup, a fence, historic marker and stone stabilization. While we want to do some of the work ourselves, we will need professional help on the stones. If you are able and interested in supporting the effort, please make your tax deductible donation payable to the address below.

The society will earmark those funds for our use on our restoration. Thomas K. Hearn III (Charlotte, NC) and Henry Hearn III (Anderson, SC) will be the trustees of the account and will approve how the funds are spent.

Sincerely yours,
William Hearn

Address for donations:

Hearnville Cemetery Project
Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society
Attn: James P. Marshall, Jr., EPCHS, Inc.
104 Church Street
Eatonton, GA 31024-1306.