HOUSE BILL NO. 780
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE AND EMPOWER THE RESPECTIVE BOARDS
OF SUPERVISORS IN THIS STATE, IN THEIR DISCRETION AND UPON
AN APPROPRIATE CERTIFICATE FROM THE.TRUSTEES OF THE STATE
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY, TO REPAIR, REHABILITATE, AND MAINTAIN ABANDONED CEMETERIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI :
SECTION 1. Upon the official certificate of the Trustees of the Mississippi State Department of Archives and History that any abandoned cemetery is of historical significance and should be repaired, rehabilitated, or maintained as a historical monument, the boards of supervisors of the respective counties in this state are hereby authorized and empowered, in their discretion, to repair, rehabilitate, and maintain any such cemetery within the borders of the county over which such board has jurisdiction.
SECTION 2. Subject to like certificate from the said Trustees of the State Department of Archives and History, the board of supervisors in adjoining counties may in their discretion, jointly accomplish such repairs, rehabilitation, or maintenance in those instances where the cemetery in question occupies territory which at one (1) time or another was located as a part of said adjoining counties.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Approved: March 23, 1971
CRITERIA FOR THE CERTIFICATION
SIGNIFICANCE OF ABANDONED CEMETERIES
UNDER THE PROVISIONS
HOUSE BILL NO. 780
Laws of Mississippi, 1971
1. The request for a certificate of historical significance must pertain to an "abandoned" cemetery.
A. For the purposes of the implementation of this act, an "abandoned" cemetery shall be construed to be one that is not adequately maintained by its legal owner or owners, whether religious bodies, private individuals, or governmental agencies.
B. An "abandoned" cemetery shall also be interpreted as one in which no burials have been made in the five years preceding the date of the official, written request to the Board of Trustees of the Department of Archives and History for a certificate of historical significance.
C. A single grave, in some instances, may constitute an abandoned" cemetery.
D. Indian burial grounds shall be regarded as "abandoned" cemeteries
II. In determining whether or not to issue a certificate of historical significance, the Board of Trustees will consider:
A. Cemeteries which contain the graves of persons who have contributed significantly to the history of the nation, the state, or the local region.
B. Cemeteries which are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of the history of the nation, the state, or the local region.
C. Cemeteries which are associated with properties entered on the National Registry of Historic Places.
D. Cemeteries which are associated with "State Archeological Landmarks," provided for in the Antiquities Law of the State of Mississippi.
E. Cemeteries which are located on land belonging to the State of Mississippi, to a county or municipality, or to any political subdivision of the State.
F. Cemeteries containing the graves of veterans of any of the nation's wars.
G. Cemeteries containing statuary, vaults, markers, and monuments of sufficient architectural and artistic value to merit their protection and preservation.
H. Cemeteries which, by their preservation, would contribute in turn to the preservation of the earlier historical image of a locality.
I. Cemeteries containing 18th century burials.
J. Indian burial grounds, officially identified by professional archaeologists.
III. Those cemeteries which have been officially certified by the Board of Trustees shall be inventoried by local persons or groups requesting the certificate, and the inventory shall be deposited with the Department of Archive. and History. This procedure will not be necessary if the Department already has the records for that particular cemetery in its collections.
Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Department of Archives and History at its meeting August 27, 1971.
Visit the web site of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History where matters of Historical Preservation and particularly abandoned cemeteries are outlined.
From the page that opens, click on 'criteria' under the heading 'Cemetery' for the criteria establsihed for the preservation of Mississippi cemeteries. Contact the MDAH for more specific information on preserving local cemeteries.