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Compiled and contributed by David Donahue
Crestview is the largest black cemetery in Knox County. It was established as a perpetual care cemetery in the 1920's. It seems like this was a really nice cemetery from its founding into the 1960's. But its perpetual care fund was grossly underfunded, and the cemetery fell onto hard times. By the 1970's, large parts of the cemetery seem to have come under the control of a local black funeral home, which buried massive numbers of people here, apparently without making contributions to the perpetual care fund. In the worst areas in the eastern section of the cemetery it was just pile of dirt, sunken grave, pile of dirt, sunken grave, one after the other, with no attempt even to restore a flat surface. When the last cemetery manager died, all maintenance ceased. In 1990 most of the cemetery except "the Circle" was overgrown. There was a public outcry and investigation into the cemetery in the mid-1990s. [The perpetual care fund actually was intact but only had $10,000.] Prison/jail labor was used to clear the cemetery beginning about 1995 or 1996.