Just off Hammond Drive and Ashford Dunwoody Road lies Stephen Martin Cemetery, with graves tentatively dating back to 1848. It’s a small place; there are only 43 sites, and until recently the entire space was overgrown. Recent storms downedg trees and scatteredg debris.
Boy Scout Troop 434 out of All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, however, wanted to change that.
Scout David Savini completed his Eagle Scout Project at Stephen Martin Cemetery in June. He both planned and built several benches and an information kiosk that will allow visitors to sit, contemplate and learn about one of Dunwoody’s oldest locations. While he had no experience with woodworking and construction, Savini persevered and not only erected benches for visitors, but also learned a new skill that will serve him for a lifetime.
“I have always had a fascination with history and it was such a treat to be able to work in a place with a connection to the origins of Dunwoody and the Spruill family,” Savini said.
Daniel Montgomery recently began his Eagle Scout project at the cemetery, as well. The 300-foot-long entrance corridor was overgrown, and branches and small trees had fallen onto the surrounding fencing, making the walk up to the cemetery treacherous and the view unappealing. Montgomery is in the process of repairing that fence and landscaping the corridor, making the entrance easier and more enjoyable to walk.
“I was fascinated by all the history in the cemetery,” Montgomery said. “The path walking up to the cemetery was so overgrown and infested with weeds that it just took away from the magic of the place. You did not have time to simply enjoy the walk on the trail.” Montgomery decided that cleaning the entrance corridor would be his Eagle Scout project, and his reason was two-fold.
“I wanted to help show the people who rest there that they are not forgotten and bring some magic to this historic site in Dunwoody.”
Glen Fuse, Dunwoody Preservation Trust volunteer, happened upon the cemetery around a year ago and began cleaning and restoring, on his own time. He regularly visits to mow the grass, trim the hedges and generally make the cemetery a more enjoyable place to be. His goals include increasing awareness about the cemetery itself and thus bringing in more visitors, as well as a cemetery tour and various educational opportunities, both adult and youth oriented.
The Stephen Martin Cemetery contains the graves of one of Dunwoody’s original citizens, joining the Spruills and other notable Dunwoody families in the land lottery. The cemetery contains the grave of at least one Confederate veteran as well as a World War I veteran.
Stephen Martin Cemetery is open to the public and is volunteer maintained.
One of Dunwoody’s valuable assets, the Stephen Martin Cemetery has the potential to be not only a historical site but also an educational and recreational one, further cementing it into Dunwoody’s past, present, and future.