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Thomasville Mayor Max Beverly will host a ceremony March 21st at 11:00 a.m., which will dedicate the newly constructed fence around the historic Flipper Cemetery. Henry Ossian Flipper was the first African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“The new fence at the Flipper Cemetery gives new life to the cemetery and brings with it an air of distinction that this property so rightfully deserves,” said Senior Assistant City Manager Kha McDonald. “This ceremony pays tribute to Lt. Flipper on the anniversary of his 159th birthday, and we invite everyone to come out and share in this occasion.”

Since 2007, the Flipper Cemetery, also known as the Old Magnolia Cemetery, has undergone a widespread restoration effort. As a result of this effort, all fallen and/or broken headstones have been repaired. Fallen walls and sunken gravesites have also been repaired. As an additional aspect of the restoration effort, cadaver dogs and ground penetrating radar has been utilized to definitively identify over 900 previously unmarked gravesites between the Flipper Cemetery and the adjacent Old Cemetery.

“As we’ve made these improvements, we hope that we’ll continue to see an increase in heritage tourism which is reflective of the ever growing interest in historic cemeteries,” McDonald said.