Historical Society asking county to cleanup historic cemetery

The Dillon County Historical Society says Mount Holly Cemetery is in need of some major upgrades and repairs.

"I'm very much appalled. I couldn't believe it when I first came out here and looked at it. It's just in bad need of cutting, and maintaining and we would like to get it maintained all year long, if possible," said Abbott Shelley, Committee to Preserve Mount Holly.

The more than 100-year-old cemetery is overgrown with bushes and weeds.

The society has asked Dillon County Council for a one time grant of $10,000 for restoration of the site to include landscaping, lighting, recognition items and fence repairs.

They're also asking for $3,000 a year for maintenance of the cite and $1,800 for the purchase of a historical marker from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

The Society says this cemetery contains the gravesite of James W. Dillon. He's the namesake of the county.

"Mr. Dillon gave a lot to Dillon County in money and in property to Dillon County and that's why we want to maintain it," Shelley explained.

"Make sure that our founding father that he does sink to rest ,but he sinks to rest in an area where his county exhibits the blessings that he gave us. And that he would have a very, pristine and nice place to be resting for eternity," said James E. Lockemy, Dillon County Historical Society.

They say Dillon was a simple merchant who gave all he had to the county. The land that Dillon County Courthouse sits on was donated by James W. Dillon.

The society says the least the county could do is take better care of the place where Dillon is buried.

"County council I'm sure will do something. We hope that they'll provide us the funds and we'll do it and maintain it. And we'll report to them every year about what we've done. And I think we'll make our county proud as Mr. Dillon has made our county proud," Lockemy explained.

Dillon County council has a copy of the proposal, but hasn't made a decision just yet.

The historical society believes if Mount Holly Cemetery is better kept it could become a tourist attraction for people wanting to learn more about the namesake of Dillon County.