December 7, 2005
You often wonder how safe your house is from vandals, but what about other property like parks and cemeteries? It’s nearly 200 years old, the Coleman Leigh Warren Cemetery off of Washington and Oakdale Roads near the National Hills shopping center. Historians say vandals are forcing it to relocate.
It’s hard to believe one of Augusta’s first mayors was buried here. And for Robert Hunter, it’s even harder to believe someone would want to harm it.
“It’s really, they gotta be worse than sick to do something like this,” said Robert Hunter.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is investigating at least one case of vandalism at Coleman Leigh Warren Cemetery, the final resting place of several 19th century politicians.
“They’ve slowly chipped away at it and believe it or not these walls were probably about four feet high and solid all the way around,” said Peter Hughes.
It’s why a committee called “Friends of the Cemetery” removed valuable bricks and other priceless pieces last weekend, locking them away in storage until a new, safer spot is chosen.
“There are some things that should be kept and considering the importance of the people here, this is probably one of those things,” Hughes said.
In the meantime, investigators are still digging for clues. They’ve made no arrests and have very few leads.
“The dead shouldn’t be treated this way,” Hunter said.
Hunter says he’ll rest in peace when the vandals are caught and punished.
“I’m really ashamed of whoever’s responsible for this,” Hunter said.
“Something like this will survive if people want to make it happen,” Hughes said.
A task if not completed, could haunt them for years to come.
And there is a meeting about this Thursday afternoon. They’re meeting downtown at the Augusta Library on Greene Street. It starts at 12:30 and should wrap up around 3 o’clock.