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Tolbert Street Cemetery Receives Restoration and Planned Dedication Ceremony

Leadership Forsyth restores cemetery with one hundred plus unmarked graves

A dedication ceremony for a revitalized cemetery property located at 351 Tolbert St. will be held at 11 a.m. on May 2 following a recent restoration of the cemetery that contains unmarked and marked graves.

During a Leadership Forsyth class project to provide a place of dignity to those buried at the site, as well as to restore the grounds and enhance public access, many stones were discovered that appeared to represent additional graves. Following ground penetrating radar technology provided by the Forsyth County Water & Sewer Department, an additional 80 formerly unidentified graves were discovered.

“Our objective with this project was to bring dignity to those buried here, but we had no idea how old the cemetery was, who was buried there or any historical information as to the cemetery and its surrounding area,” said Leadership Forsyth class member Kathy Hines. “We became curious as we started cleaning the property and began researching deed records at the County Courthouse that traced the land back to the Colored Methodist Church of Cumming, deeded in 1871, with headstones dating back to the late 1800’s.”

More information on the project and the history of the cemetery can be found by listening to the latest FoCo 15 podcast, the County’s official audio podcast. Additional information on the project can also be found by visiting the Leadership Forsyth website.

The restoration will provide various public amenities including a walkway through the site, maintained landscaping, benches, parking and signage with historical information on the property for those wishing to visit the cemetery. Funding and materials for site improvements were provided by community partners and Leadership Forsyth.

The cemetery property is located adjacent to the Tolbert Street Recycling Center and is owned by Forsyth County and will be maintained by County Public Facilities.

“The County was thrilled that Leadership Forsyth wanted to provide this restoration project for this site as well as discover the history of the property,” said County Manager Kevin Tanner. “We are honored to preserve the cemetery and honor those buried there.”

About Leadership Forsyth

The mission of Leadership Forsyth is to empower and connect diverse leaders who serve as catalyst for a vibrant community. Leadership Forsyth’s goal is to broaden the volunteer leadership base, identify and train future leaders, and promote a network of informed, motivated community leaders. Through this educational experience, the participants become better able to involve themselves in community life and better prepared to lead Forsyth County to a better future. The organization does not attempt to create a consensus of opinion or to promote any specific issue.

For more information on Leadership Forsyth and the programs offered, please contact Executive Director Tammi Bramblett by email at

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