HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is nominating a cemetery in Hot Springs to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Hot Springs City Cemetery was purchased in 1895 to treat and bury patients during the Small Pox outbreak.
“125 years later and we’re back to where we were,” City Manager Bill Burrough said.
Later, the area was used to bury paupers and unknown individuals, which took place until 1984 when the last site burial took place.
Since then, it became overgrown and abandoned. Karen White and her husband, Brian White, have been working with the city to preserve this historic local cemetery.
“Actually, we brought in a herd of goats,” Burrough said.
After it was cleared, White found most graves didn’t have headstones.
“It’s hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for,” White said.
Instead, most were just sunken ground.
“Do you see the depression? It’s platted out to be 636 graves,” White said.
Hundreds of stories have come to the surface, but there are still some left to be uncovered.
“It’s hallowed ground,” Burrough said.
The state approved the cemetery to be nominated for the National Register of Historic places. It will now be submitted to the National Park Service for final review.