Cemetery board looks to replace fence

Tina Harbuck
Levy and Kathy Marler-Blue work on the grave sites of some her family at Marler Memorial Cemetery earlier this week. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

The Marler Memorial Cemetery nestled under the oaks on Calhoun Avenue is in need of a new fence.

The nearly half-acre cemetery holds some of Destin’s earliest settlers such as Leonard Destin, Elisha Marler and David Marler, all dating back to the 1800s.

It was started as a place for community burials back in 1884 by William T. Marler. Since then the modest lot has become the burial ground for the early families of Destin.

“No one has ever paid a dime to be buried in that cemetery,” said Lloyd Taylor, who serves as president of the Marler Memorial Cemetery board. Thus the board has “very limited funds,” he said.

And every penny that comes in, goes right back out to pay for electricity and upkeep of the cemetery.

Topping the list of upkeep is a new fence. The board is looking to replace only the fencing that faces Calhoun.

“We all know fences don’t keep people out, but they do detour vandalism,” Taylor said.

Over the years, the cemetery has experienced some vandalism such as headstones being over turned, but not much.

Cost for materials and to have the fence installed will be approximately $3,000, Taylor said. He said they hope to have it replaced by the end of July.

In the meantime, funds are needed.

“We rely on donations for the upkeep,” said Kathy Marler-Blue, who is secretary of the board.

“The biggest issues we are working on right now is getting the new fence along the front, getting the yard pump fixed so the water works so we can clean the headstones,” she said.

“There are headstones that have been broken and need repair. We want the final resting place of our families to look nice,” Marler-Blue added.

Donations for the cemetery can be dropped off at the Destin History and Fishing Museum with Marler-Blue or by calling Taylor at 850-685-8557.