July 19, 2006 -- Posted at 5:19 p.m. CDT
CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- If you've traveled down Pine Log Road just north of the Jonesboro city limits, chances are you've seen the Pine Log Cemetery.
The cemetery was founded in the mid 1800's and over the past 150 years the number of gravesites has grown tremendously.
"This cemetery covers approximately 40 acres, and probably has about 15,000 graves out here," said Ted Mabry.
However, the cost of upkeep has risen as well, and with the number of donations dwindling down to nothing... the cemetery's board of directors is looking for ways to bring in funds.
The first grave site at the Pine Log Cemetery was placed there in 1859, the latest grave was just this week.
"It's a free burial cemetery. The plots are free. In the last couple of years the board of directors, in order to try to try to raise some money, has established a $100 maintenance fee," said Mabry.
According to the deed, the board can't charge for the grave plots, but they can legally require a maintenance fee... especially with the continued growth of the cemetery.
"We're just about out of funds and we're just like any other cemetery... I'm sure they all need money," said Mabry.
The only compensated person on the staff at the cemetery is Jim Fletcher.
"He mows continually. We don't know what's going to happen after he goes because he's getting close to 80," said Mabry.
Even at his age, Fletcher is out here on his tractor mowing five days a week.
"Takes me almost two full weeks to get from one side to the other, and from one end to the other," said Jim Fletcher.
The cemetery can only afford to pay Fletcher minimum wage, but he's doing it because he feels the upkeep is important to honor the people buried here.
The board of directors with the Pine Log Cemetery is always accepting donations. If you would like to make a donation you can send it to this address:
Foster's Monument, Inc.
11656 Hwy 49 North
Brookland, Arkansas 72417