Two historic cemeteries are now part of a newly formed historical cemetery district. Knoxville officials announced the opening of the West View Historical Cemetery District on Friday.
The community worked with the Knox County Sheriff's Office and other organizations to clear out the Longview and Southern Chain cemeteries. Both were so overgrown the graves were hard to see.
The graves date back to the 1700s and include veterans from the War of 1812 through the Vietnam War.
Community members say there is still work to do, but they're pleased at the progress they've made.
"It says a lot about your community and how you feel about those that have preceded you if you dishonor them by not keeping up their grave-site and the cemeteries. Then you're really saying, 'We're not nice people. We don't care.' And Westview is a very caring community. It's a community with a great deal of pride, a long history, and they just did not want this to be the image of their community," said Brenda Palmer, who represents District Three on the Knoxville City Council.
This district also includes four other cemeteries dating back to the 1800s: the Lonas family cemetery, Middlebrook Cemetery, New Jewish Cemetery, and the Crestview Cemetery.