COLUMBIA, S.C. — A historic cemetery in the Midlands is looking to become a historic landmark.
Palmetto Cemetery was founded in 1920 by Willis Johnson.
For decades, it was one of the very few places in the city where African Americans could be buried.
Those who have family at the cemetery say that the cemetery is more than just a resting place.
Vanessa Briggs has lived in the Midlands her entire life and says the cemetery means a lot to her family.
"They are souls resting here, and that's what people have to understand," says Briggs. "I used to take what I call a pilgrimage with my mother and aunt and we would come out with jugs of water and just clean, and it would make us feel good because we're carrying out the legacy that was passed down to us."
Briggs works for the Palmetto Cemetery Association, an association thathopes to make the cemetery a historic landmark.
But the association has had trouble finding funding to maintain grave-sites for several years.
They're asking the public to join them in maintaining the cemetery.
The association is hopeful that if the site becomes a historic landmark, it could lead to more funding, which could help keep the cemetery clean.
"You don't have to wait until someone is deceased to help beautify it or maintain it," says Straywall Patterson, Executive Director of the cemetery. "You should feel comforted in knowing that you have some resting place that someone is taking care of, a place that we can have people be proud of."
If you would like to donate to the Palmetto Cemetery Association, you are encouraged to contact the cemetery's direct line.