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Back Toe Cemetery Reborn Thanks to Crystal Crumpton – Daily Local

In a recent interview I did with Crystal Crampton, she will tell you that the work of her life guarantees that: Everyone has birthdays and death dates, and the dashes that separate those dates hold the story. “

It began in the mid-20s when her curiosity led her grandmother to ask about the location of the first New Garden Memorial UAME Church, 229 Bucktoe Rd, Kennett Township, PA19311.

As a child, she heard about the first church and the burned-out second church. She knew there was a graveyard in the same place. When she first visited the graveyard, she was disappointed with the condition of her property. She saw one tombstone against the maple tree “crying” to be perceived as another person hidden under the Bramble.

Crystal Crumpton decided that day to “get things right and regain the beauty of this historic cemetery.”

Crystal outlines the need for years of demanding work and more work to restore the graveyard to its original state. There is evidence that 122 people have been buried in Bucktoe.

Some tombstones have been destroyed by elements and destroyers, and some have not yet been discovered. Some have complete information. Other inscriptions have been lost due to weathering. Many of the tombstones are engraved with the periwinkle flower, a wild flower that grows naturally in the back toe cemetery. The elastic periwinkle is the perfect symbol for the strength and patience of African Americans and their heritage.

Crystal recruited volunteers from her church and community. She frankly told local farmers to help their landscaping equipment and seek financial support when needed. She and her community elders built a wire mesh fence that was damaged by a large tree that fell during a storm in the early 90’s. A fence surrounded the area. Currently, the property, which lacks one acre of land, is surrounded by a beautiful wooden fence with a gate.

Crystals have been struck by those buried in this graveyard. She mentions Colonel William Jackson and other Civil War soldiers buried there along with the extraordinary everyday people of the community.

Excavations are being conducted around the church, but not in the sacred graveyards. Relics were discovered in a life education class in the early 1800s. Crystal is happy to share that the history given in the class educates all those who were alive at the time. This includes Native Americans, African Americans to Quakers. Crystal describes it as “the history of our community.”

One of Crystal’s greatest concerns was the sale of real estate and the expropriation of this “sacred place” like many other graveyards.

She continues to thank the Land Conservation Department in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. Volunteers from the Hallowed Grounds organization and countless community members have emerged to prevent this. Crystal calls them Bucktoe’s friends, and there are some excellent Samaritans she calls “Cemetery Angels.”

Everything placed in the graveyard has a purpose. Crystal is particularly pleased with the bench made of 9,000 recycled plastic bags placed in the exact location of the burnt church. She is pleased that this bench pays homage to the environment by diverting plastic bags, and of course it should last for years.

Pastor Beverly Bell, the current pastor of New Garden Memorial UAME, said: She walks with enthusiasm, not by sight but by faith. She had the courage to install many walls because she believes that everything is accomplished by the power of Christ, not because of the crystals. “

Rev. Bell continues. “We are the unique people of our church. If we can think of it; believe it. It is possible. At 10:30 am on Sunday, all members of the community will be in the New Garden. Invite to the Memorial UAME Church. I’m currently using Zoom, so I can attend that way. “Email: bgbell231@aol.com

Recently, at WHYY, Kennett Square was introduced in its role on the underground railroad. Rev. Crystal and Bell are part of the story. It can be seen at:

Crystal Crumpton continues to develop ideas on how to bring awareness to the graveyard. She describes it as a place of peace that carries visitors across race, gender and sin. It has the energy to unite us as one human being. Her invitation is “Please come visit us.”

“The Story of Kennett-Shaping One Child at a Time” Joan Holiday and Bob George’s book on Kennett can be purchased at Amazon and Kennett’s mushroom caps or resale bookstores. You can contact Joan Holliday (dochollisv@aol.com).

Back Toe Cemetery Reborn Thanks to Crystal Crumpton – Daily Local

Source link Back Toe Cemetery Reborn Thanks to Crystal Crumpton – Daily Local

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