DALTON — Every grave in the children paupers section of West Hill Cemetery may soon have a marker.
“It will cost about $4,500 to acquire the markers, and as of (Friday) we have received right at $3,000 in donations,” said Dalton Public Works Director Benny Dunn.
West Hill Cemetery is owned and maintained by the city of Dalton. The children paupers section is for children up to six months old whose parents can’t afford to bury them. There are currently about 67 unmarked graves in the children paupers section.
In January, Dalton resident Amanda Jones, who had visited the cemetery many times with her grandmother, Judy Alderman, was walking through the cemetery when she noticed that many of the graves in the children paupers section did not have markers.
She began trying to raise awareness of the situation and asked people to donate money to help place markers on the graves. Jones, who is currently attending college in Mississippi, says she is happy that people have responded.
Dunn says the first markers have been ordered and should be installed in about three weeks. They will begin with the oldest graves.
“We have had two children buried there since we started talking about this, and I don’t know yet whether their parents will be able to afford a marker,” he said.
Those who wish to donate can send a check to Infants Gravestone Fund, City of Dalton, 300 W. Waugh St., Dalton, GA 30721. Each gravestone costs $65.