Kenneth Sawyer of Tennessee was shocked to find a hidden cemetery right next door when he looked to do some work on his home. Some might find the bizarre discovery disturbing, but not Ken. He’s delighted about his “new neighbors!”
Life is full of surprises. And Ken Sawyer got quite a surprise when he began planning an addition to his home in Tennessee.
Ken decided to build a carport next to his house. But a call from the city revealed a hidden cemetery secretly lurking right next door to his property.
“They said, ‘make sure you keep it five feet from the cemetery.’ I was like, ‘from the what?!'” Ken recalled.
The man had no idea he’d been living next to a gravesite. Some people may have found the discovery creepy or disturbing. But Ken thought it was fascinating.
“I just embraced it as something kinda cool,” he said.
The area where the hidden cemetery is located was incredibly overgrown. That’s why Ken was oblivious to it. But now that he knows he’s living next door to a piece of history, he’s delighted about his new “neighbors.”
“I won’t have to worry about loud parties from that neighbor. They won’t borrow things. They’re the perfect neighbors,” he jokes.
Hidden Cemetery Inspires New Mission
Ken Sawyer’s discovery inspired him to find out more about the cemetery’s history. He learned that it dates back to at least 1850 and he guesses it holds between 5 to 8 bodies.
Ken also found out the hidden cemetery once belonged to the Caruthers family. And seeing it in such disrepair didn’t sit right with the man.
“In this cemetery are some of the descendants of the first settlers to Tennessee. I thought how sad it was that no one cared about these people. They shouldn’t be forgotten and I believe the dead deserve a nice respectable resting place,” he said.
Ken, in conjunction with local historians and the New England Historic Cemetery Restoration Project, made it his mission to restore the long-forgotten gravesite. And as word spread through the community, folks began donating money and time toward his efforts.
So many people took an interest in the hidden cemetery, leaving Ken pleasantly surprised. And so, he set up the Caruthers Cemetery Project Facebook page so folks could follow along with his progress.
What a wonderful thing for Ken to do to honor the final resting place of this family, even though they are complete strangers to him.
“To me, these were forgotten people,” he said. “I thought this was my chance to make these people no longer forgotten. As long as I’m living here, this cemetery will be taken care of.”
Kudos to Ken Sawyer for starting this project and showing the gravesite the respect it deserves!
WATCH: Ken Sawyer With Update On Hidden Cemetery Progress
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Featured Image Credit: Youtube/GoFundMe Campaign Update