The tour begins at B.B. Comer Memorial Library and travels through the Downtown Historic District. Many of the stores in the district were built between 1895 and 1920.
The tours begin at 10 a.m. and are conducted by community leaders each weekend in April. The two remaining tours are on April 21, and April 28.
This past Saturday, guests were greeted in the cemetery by four members of the Sylacauga Historic Commission — co-chairs Linda Dickson and Mark Ledbetter, and members Gloria Owen and Tony Cooksey.
The Sylacauga Cemetery is the last remaining physical evidence of the original setting for Sylacauga, incorporated in 1838. It is less than a block from the original crossroads of Main Avenue and Fort Williams Street.
The cemetery was established in 1839 when the first person was buried. Veterans from the War of 1812 and War Between the States are buried there, as well as several prominent doctors, clergymen and other early pioneers founding Sylacauga. Some markers include an alternate spelling for Sylacauga.
In 1975 the cemetery was the first in the state to be registered with the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Saturday’s walk participants included individuals from Weogufka and Alexander City, and Hattiesburg, Miss. Toney Cooksey provided a brief history of the Herd Brothers, who were instrumental in the early development of Sylacauga’s marble industry.
George, David and John Herd were Scottish stonemasons who first moved to Sycamore to work the quarry there before opening the quarry in Sylacauga. John was especially known for his quick carving. He carved the large memorial to his brother George. The Herds and several other Scotsmen who worked in the quarry are buried in the same area.
The work of the Herds was well known. A marker produced by them can be found in the Auburn Cemetery.
It is the presence of several marble markers in the cemetery that makes the cemetery unique and included in Sylacauga’s Marble Fest observation.
Several of the markers in the cemetery have been restored by Phillip Morris and the restoration is a project funded by a grant from the Historic Commission received last fall. The commission has until September to complete the restoration project.
Contact Mark Ledbetter at firstname.lastname@example.org