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Discussion Starter #1
I use my Scout to go to places of historical interest, usually not well known, often not marked at all, mostly forgotten about. The other day I tried to get to a place I had seen on some old topo maps, called Shiloh Church, located in the Withlacoochee State Forest, near the southern border of Citrus County with Hernando in Florida. The paved route narrowed and ended, the dirt road ahead looked too rough for the Scout, so I turned around to go back and get the truck to go out there this AM. I heard the church had been abandoned decades ago, wherever it was yesteryear it was not well accessible and the middle of nowhere today. Hearsay had it there was not much left except a few headstones. Indeed there were, past the iron gate held closed with an old piece of wood, there were a number of graves in this cleared but overgrown area. A few faded plastic flowers and flags on some headstones indicated some people had been out in years past to visit loved ones. But it was the names and dates that moved me. A number of veterans were here in this remote, silent , seemingly untended place.

An 18 year kid who had gone to Vietnam
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A 24 year old who went to Korea

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A man of 37 who served in the 2nd World War and died in '47
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Another WWII vet who lived to 1995, and now rests here

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Not a Vet myself, but its an incumbent duty as a citizen to honor those who were, and particularly those whose lives ended abruptly in service. I am glad I and my son who came with me had a chance to pay respects. Yet I wonder how in the years ahead among the remote pines, tall grass and other graves bearing same family names our countrymen who paid the highest price should be remembered. The place has a story, I am researching it, I know it goes back to the civil war. The cemetery has gone through periods of use and disuse, but there is a living connection, as from to time it seems someone comes out, plants a flag, some plastic flowers, and as recently as 2003, laid a loved one to rest. I am reaching out to some people that I think know something of it.

However until I know more, I thought you veterans might find this of interest.
 

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It's a shame that this "Heroes Final Resting Place" has been forgotten. Perhaps, if you live nearby, you could bring it to the attention of a few of the local high schools. See if they would adopt it, research it, and document all of its occupants. If nothing else, they deserve remembering. Also, locals television stations can take up the banner and get the word out. If I lived closer I would be with you on this.
 

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@Chief Signguru is correct. Also, PLEASE contact the state level DAV and American Legion, or even the nearest CVMA riding association. Especially for the upcoming Veterans Day - contact the local TV stations. This is a disgrace and disrespectful.
 

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Being a veteran myself, I often overlook us veterans. I often think that it should be the people whose freedoms we defend, that should remember the fallen. Hopefully, if it is brought to the public's attention, they will rally around the project.
 

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That is the issue with small cemeteries, people who have relatives buried there, die themselves or move. You can also see if there is a local Knights of Columbus chapter, they do projects like this also.
 

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Seeing the dates of Birth/Death just put many a tears to your eyes. They will never be forgotten . Had a relative go to vietnam was only 19. Died 2 weeks later. Mortar Shell. Next yr i enlisted. Many yrs ago i lived across a Cemetery Old one. The dates were 1700's/1800' as a youngster i use to walk around them just to read the dates on the stones.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions about who to contact to seek assistance in preserving this place. I spent some time researching the history here, and fortunately the place while little known, has not entirely fallen of the radar. Its an interesting story.

During the years of the civil war and afterwards there was a wealthy plantation owner with property in the Lake Lindsay area which is in the vicinity of this place. The man was named Anderson Mayo, who later became a judge. During the war, he had a slave housekeeper whose teenage son was called Brown Mayo. Brown Mayo during the war worked for the confederacy to run messages.

After the war, Anderson Mayo gave Brown Mayo 80 acres near the Citrus County border. This land developed into a community in the later 1800s called Russell Hill, which included the church and graveyard. I am aware of several old towns in the State Forests here which faded away and became ghost towns in the 20th century. Nothing remaining except some a few foundation stones and a few graveyards; this became one of them. In 1960 the wooden church was moved from the site and taken to Brooksville

There is today still a congregation in Brooksville. Both Citrus and Hernando genealogical societies have made periodic surveys and have lists of those interred at the remote cemetery. Over the past 50 years the cemetery has had periods of disuse and use; the families with roots in this lost community have had some of their loved ones interred there, the last one being in 2003 .

I have had some contact with someone who knows one of the families and I am reaching out to the congregation to understand it's relationship today with site. I hope I can ask them how they might feel about getting some assistance from the organisations you all have suggested in honoring the veterans there.

Will keep you posted.
 

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The last name of Mayo is interesting, wonder if it is any relation to the Mayo brothers that started the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions about who to contact to seek assistance in preserving this place. I spent some time researching the history here, and fortunately the place while little known, has not entirely fallen of the radar. Its an interesting story.

During the years of the civil war and afterwards there was a wealthy plantation owner with property in the Lake Lindsay area which is in the vicinity of this place. The man was named Anderson Mayo, who later became a judge. During the war, he had a slave housekeeper whose teenage son was called Brown Mayo. Brown Mayo during the war worked for the confederacy to run messages.

After the war, Anderson Mayo gave Brown Mayo 80 acres near the Citrus County border. This land developed into a community in the later 1800s called Russell Hill, which included the church and graveyard. I am aware of several old towns in the State Forests here which faded away and became ghost towns in the 20th century. Nothing remaining except some a few foundation stones and a few graveyards; this became one of them. In 1960 the wooden church was moved from the site and taken to Brooksville

There is today still a congregation in Brooksville. Both Citrus and Hernando genealogical societies have made periodic surveys and have lists of those interred at the remote cemetery. Over the past 50 years the cemetery has had periods of disuse and use; the families with roots in this lost community have had some of their loved ones interred there, the last one being in 2003 .

I have had some contact with someone who knows one of the families and I am reaching out to the congregation to understand it's relationship today with site. I hope I can ask them how they might feel about getting some assistance from the organisations you all have suggested in honoring the veterans there.

Will keep you posted.
If you want, I can make remote calls to to local area television stations, and see if we can possibly generate some human interest stories regarding the cemetary. I don't want to step on your toes, and will defer the ultimate decision to you.
I was the motivating force in convincing the forum moderators and gods to allow us to have the "Military Veterans" section.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you want, I can make remote calls to to local area television stations, and see if we can possibly generate some human interest stories regarding the cemetery. I don't want to step on your toes, and will defer the ultimate decision to you.
I was the motivating force in convincing the forum moderators and gods to allow us to have the "Military Veterans" section.
Appreciate the offer, what I would like to do first is get some communication going with the congregation which may still have a connection to this place and get up to speed on the law in the State governing abandoned cemeteries. I have learned In the 90s Florida realized there were tons of these, where small settlements grew then faded away as industry and development moved somewhere else. A commission made some recommendations, some of which appear to have made it into law. These laws define what is an abandoned cemetery, how rights of access are kept, even if the property has changed ownership (seems to be on state land) who has responsibility for upkeep if its been abandoned, and provides guidelines for third parties wishing to help preserve and maintain. However, what strikes me most is these are Old Florida people with very deep roots. The WWII vet who died in 1995 could have gone I suppose to the Florida National Cemetery in not to far away Bushnell, but he came here. I think about the 18 year old named Washington Langley who died in Vietnam; his remains came from a half a world away to be carried across the same rough dirt roads I used to get back there, laid to rest nine years after the wood church he probably went to had been moved to its current home in Brooksville. The last burial I know of I am told was a relative of his, another Langley, in 2003. I heard late today from someone who knows them that that particular family has been here since the civil war and were slaves back then, and they have a special reverence for the place. It may be that that near forgotten place is so because time and energy and resources to preserve the place are fading, but, it may also be that the place is the way it is because when these Old Florida folks look back, and see things differently. With that in mind, I want to respectfully and carefully get in touch and see what their feelings are, and go from there. Will keep you posted and be glad for your help when needed.
 

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Appreciate the offer, what I would like to do first is get some communication going with the congregation which may still have a connection to this place and get up to speed on the law in the State governing abandoned cemeteries. I have learned In the 90s Florida realized there were tons of these, where small settlements grew then faded away as industry and development moved somewhere else. A commission made some recommendations, some of which appear to have made it into law. These laws define what is an abandoned cemetery, how rights of access are kept, even if the property has changed ownership (seems to be on state land) who has responsibility for upkeep if its been abandoned, and provides guidelines for third parties wishing to help preserve and maintain. However, what strikes me most is these are Old Florida people with very deep roots. The WWII vet who died in 1995 could have gone I suppose to the Florida National Cemetery in not to far away Bushnell, but he came here. I think about the 18 year old named Washington Langley who died in Vietnam; his remains came from a half a world away to be carried across the same rough dirt roads I used to get back there, laid to rest nine years after the wood church he probably went to had been moved to its current home in Brooksville. The last burial I know of I am told was a relative of his, another Langley, in 2003. I heard late today from someone who knows them that that particular family has been here since the civil war and were slaves back then, and they have a special reverence for the place. It may be that that near forgotten place is so because time and energy and resources to preserve the place are fading, but, it may also be that the place is the way it is because when these Old Florida folks look back, and see things differently. With that in mind, I want to respectfully and carefully get in touch and see what their feelings are, and go from there. Will keep you posted and be glad for your help when needed.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If there is anything I can do to help, feel free to let me know.
 

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It looks like there are still Langleys that live in the area.
 

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That’s why I have a couple thousand felony arrests
 
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Found one similar in Madison county, alongside a limestone road. Dates from WW1 soldiers are there and several unarmed still borns. Its not hard to locate, either.

We own land in Levy county and ive heard of a few family plots out in the woods, but on private land.
 

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Seems like we, as in "Americans", could take a page from this book: US Cemeteries in Europe - Rick Steves Travel Forum

Most of the cemeteries in Europe that are for American servicemembers are maintained by the local city/town out of gratitude for all that we did in WWI/WWII. In comparison, it is very sad that we have servicemember's final resting places on our home soil being forgotten and lost.
 

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It's a tuff deal... you find it and then you really don't know what to do. You look at the ages and cringe... then reflect that nothing ever really changes... and then ask why... Sorry just thinking out loud. Around here we travel to the Indian War battle fields as most soldiers were buried at the place the fell.
 

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I'm glad you took your son out there. When my kids were small we always went to the Memorial Day service at the National Cemetery in Fayetteville, AR, where we lived at the time. We have to teach the younger generation just as we were taught.
 
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