Olympia Cemetery Receives Historical Marker

A cemetery in Columbia that's more than 100 years old, now has the designation to back up its history. News19's Loren Thomas reports.

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - The Olympia Cemetery in Columbia's Mill District, is now on the list of historical places in South Carolina.

On Sunday afternoon, dozens of people gathered at the 120 year old cemetery to watch the unveiling of a historic marker, placed in the center of the grounds.

"I have family members going back three generations who are buried here," says Bob Davis. "So this place has tremendous sentimental value to me."

In the 1890's the several cotton mills were built by Smith Whaley.

"When people passed away the mill offered grave sites here for the employees to be entered," says Joby Castine, chairman of the Olympia Cemetery Association. "My grandfathers on both sides of the family, my aunts, my father, they all worked in the cotton mill for a good part of their lives. I was born and raised here, probably a mile from where we are standing now."

Castine and the cemetery association helped to get the historic marker on the grounds.

Now descendants of the deceased that worked in the mills can always come back and remember the lives of their loved ones.

"We were all raised in this community and all four of my grandparents worked in the mill," says Donna Spigner Kinard. Her grandparents and aunts are buried in the cemetery. Kinard says her parents were also raised in the Mill District, and would've loved to have witnessed the ceremony. "I know mom and dad are looking down and daddy has to be so proud."

It's that pride that runs through the hearts of the families of the mill workers.

"It's important to the sense of community here to remember the past, move forward, but remember the past," says Castine.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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