The Mason County Historical Commission is sponsoring a clean-up workday at the Old Pontotoc Cemetery in Pontotoc (on RR 501 off Hwy. 71W ) this Saturday, November 12th. We will begin working around 8:30 a.m. and work until 4:00 p.m. If you can’t stay all day, just come and help out whenever you can. Be sure and wear gloves as you can see by the photo that there is a LOT of vegetation that will have to be cleared out (including a lot of cactus!). We will need rakes, hoes, shovels, weed-eaters, clipping shears, and even smaller digging tools as many of the tombstones have been broken and some are buried from all the damage feral hogs have done over the past few years. This will more than likely be the first of several workdays as it would be impossible to complete the clearing/cleaning in one day. We will furnish lunch and have drinks available for the volunteers.Once the cemetery has been cleared, a fence will have to be replaced along the front portion of the cemetery. We have been raising money the past few months to help defray the cost of the fencing and a gate. If you would like to contribute, you can make your check payable to The Mason County Historical Commission (MCHC), P.O. Box 1542, Mason 76856. Please note on your check it is for the “OPC Fund”.The Commission’s goal is that once the cemetery is cleaned and inventoried and the fencing has been replaced, that there will be an OPC Association made up of volunteers who can oversee the continued care of this historical cemetery. It was abandoned around 1888 after a typhoid epidemic took the lives of many of the Pontotoc citizens, including many children. We feel it is important that we show our respect to these pioneers of this area of Mason County and honor them by keeping this cemetery in good condition so that family members may come and visit their loved ones who played such an important part in the settling of Mason County. Cemeteries are among the most valuable of historic resources. In communities that have a strong sense of history, people are more likely to protect and maintain cemeteries. Two other cemeteries in the county are also in dire need of cleaning and clearing – the Todd Mountain Cemetery, and next to it, the Simon Cemetery, both on RR 2389 just a few miles south of Mason. We are currently working on applications to designate these two cemeteries as Texas Historical Cemeteries through the Texas Historical Commission. We will be setting up work days for these two cemeteries also in the near future. Once the work at the OPC is completed, we will also apply for a historical designation for it also. This gives these cemeteries protection from encroachment, and presents steps to aid in the preservation of the state’s historic cemeteries. It can’t be successful without the involvement of individuals who have an interest in local culture and history and want to preserve the memories of those who have gone before us.