Unearthed coffin and erosion threaten historic cemetery along Pearl River

Unearthed coffin and erosion threaten historic cemetery along Pearl River


The Pearl River’s waters have revealed a coffin at a burial site in Copiah County, prompting concern over the preservation of the area, WLBT reports.

According to the report, Judy Blair Berry captured photographs of the exposed casket while fishing between Rockport and Georgetown on Friday. The partially unearthed coffin, surrounded by branches and grass, displays visible handles.

Known as the private Catching Cemetery, this location in Copiah County houses numerous headstones dating back to the mid-1800s. Situated between Georgetown and Rockport, the cemetery has experienced erosion and damage caused by flooding from the Pearl River. This unfortunate occurrence has resulted in the loss of headstones and potentially even coffins. Berry hopes that measures will be taken to safeguard this sacred burial ground.

Tom Catchings, who has ancestral connections to the cemetery, has made efforts in the past to maintain its condition. However, water released from the Ross Barnett reservoir has exacerbated the erosion problem. The cemetery, situated on Old River Road, was once part of the Glen Rose Plantation, which suffered a fire in the 1960s.

Catchings has previously engaged with the Mississippi Department of Archives regarding the cemetery. He is currently reaching out to multiple organizations and individuals to explore possible solutions for preserving this historically significant site.