By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- The crowd came in small groups. Holding flowers, residents of Stuart and surrounding areas spent a few hours on March 9 honoring those buried at Moore Cemetery.
The cemetery is located on Seville Street in Stuart, near the busy intersection of Monterey Boulevard and State Road 76. According to author Janet Hutchinson, in her book "The History of Martin County," it was once known as the Community Cemetery, and was one of the original "colored" cemeteries in the area. It is estimated the cemetery first came into being at the beginning of the 1900s, a little more than 100 years ago.
Over the decades, the cemetery has fallen into disrepair, with several unmarked gravesites. Some of the burials were lost to time, bad record keeping and the widening of roads. In the cemetery itself, there is even a marker on the north side of Seville Street that is dedicated to all the unmarked gravesites.
But lately, more attention has been given to the area
"This is an old cemetery, and the city has been sprucing it up and helping to take care of it," said Stuart Mayor Eula Clarke. "There's lots of history there."
The ceremony was attended by Willie Mae Maize and Willie Sampson, who both have relatives buried in the cemetery. Speaking at the event was Mayor Clarke, Rev. Jerry Gore and local historian Dr. W. Jay Thompson.
The historical significance was spoken about, and then the city unveiled a new sign identifying the entrance to the cemetery.