Red Bank taking steps to become active steward of potter's field

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / A headstone sits in the Red Bank Cemetery on August 6, 2022. Located within a neighborhood, the Red Bank Cemetery is one of two cemeteries owned by the city that has plans for sustainable maintenance.

The city of Red Bank has two abandoned cemeteries on city-owned property, but until recently, city officials were only aware of one.

Red Bank Cemetery is tucked away in a neighborhood near Morrison Springs Road. The 1-acre cemetery is no longer active aside from several plots purchased long ago, and city staff continues to mow the grass but provides no other maintenance, City Manager Martin Granum said.

The oldest tombstone Granum found dates back to 1890, and the most recent burial was in 1991.

Granum, who moved to Red Bank in October after he was hired as city manager, said he first heard about the other cemetery - a forgotten potter's field on Stringer's Ridge - while on a run with a friend. When he learned it was on city property, he started planning to create a committee to help guide the city in appropriately honoring the people buried there.