PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. — One Pulaski County man is working to restore a centuries old cemetery. The Hickman New Dora Cemetery is located in the McAlmont community – just outside the North Little Rock city limits.
“You still have families out here who still have plots,” says Jon Sisk.
Weeds and overgrown grass surround gravestones.”I came out here because I wanted to see the tombstones and this is what I found here,” says Sisk. The cemetery looks forgotten – with graves marked and unmarked – hidden within a row of trees. “Once you get past this first part, it probably goes back a football field or more,” he says.
Sisk – who has several ancestors buried here – says he’s working to restore the graveyard back to it’s old self. “I kind of been at a standstill trying to figure out more and who owns the property, and try to bypass it to see if we can get it registered as a national historic site,” he says.
In order for it to be considered – a representative from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program says at least 51 of the markers must be 50 years or older. Something Sisk says he’s seen firsthand. “There’s people that are buried here from the late 1800’s, once you go way back there,” he says.
Now, Sisk is pleading for any help in getting his family and countless others buried on these grounds the proper care and final resting place they deserve. “It’s time that we as people, and as a society do better as far as historic preservation and making sure things of the old aren’t forgotten,” he says.
Sisk says there are pastors, military vets and former slaves buried in this cemetery. A representative from the the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program says they are expected to come and tour the graveyard in the upcoming days to see if it may qualify to be registered as a historic site.