Crews from McMinnville Public Works worked all day yesterday picking up trash and debris after severe storms hit the area.
“There were trees down all over the place,” said McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock. “We have been working since 1 a.m. to clear the roadways. It seems most of the trees that fell ended up falling on the road.”
One of he biggest trees downed was located in the historic cemetery on South High Street. Locally known as High Street Cemetery or Old City Cemetery, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Neighbors report the tree fell at approximately 1:30 a.m.
“We came out and cleared the roadway early this morning,” said Public Works employee Charlie Furbee. “It will probably take a few hours to remove the entire tree. We don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
The tree stood beside a fence that circled a tombstone placed for William P. Hampton who died June 3, 1860. As the tree fell, it damaged the fence.
It is unknown at this time if the damage to the cemetery fence can be fixed. Once the tree is completely removed, the damage can be better assessed.
High Street Cemetery is also the resting place of some of Warren County’s earliest and most notable citizens. Samuel Colville was the first person known to have been buried there. Several Civil War soldiers are also buried there, including Gen. Benjamin Jefferson Hill. He was one of the last people to be buried there after his death on Jan. 5, 1880.
Along with removing trees and limbs from the road, crews worked to pick up trash. Strong winds knocked over trash cans that crews were scheduled to pick up Thursday.
“We had a few guys walking in front of the truck righting trash cans and placing the trash back in them,” said Brock.