Howard Finster Is Back Home In Alabama

…so… that’s kind-of a strange thing to say.

But he *is* back home.  Well, his body is, anyway.

Last week, Rev. Howard Finster’s body was exhumed from Silver Hill Cemetery in Georgia (he had been a pastor at Silver Hill Baptist for a time) and moved to Head Springs Cemetery in Valley Head, Alabama so that he could be closer to his family.

Howard’s wife, Pauline, has been requesting that since all their people – from both sides – are in that cemetery, that he, and she when the time comes, be there.

“Before I knew it, it was done. It was kind of like daddy had a hand in it. It all happened too easy. Do you know what I’m saying?” Ms. Bradshaw said.

Pauline, who’s living in Atlanta with Ms. Bradshaw, came up to watch the journey.

“I had mother there at Silver Hill when they dug him up. Then we followed the truck over to Head Springs and (Pastor) Ken Johnson had a prayer over his grave when they buried him in Head Springs. She was sitting there in an air-conditioned car when they buried him,” Ms. Bradshaw said. “She says I’m so glad we’ve got your daddy moved. It’s not bothering her now. She’s at peace now.”

More here.

Well, we were on our way to Chattanooga this weekend and Valley Head is not far off the route at all, so we went by…sure enough…

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens, Summerville GA

There’s some Paradise Gardens news going on too.    The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation put it on its 2010 Places in Peril list.  And back in March, Chattooga County was considering purchasing it:

The county recently received a $70,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to put toward buying the property. Mr. Winters said the rest of the purchase price, which has not been agreed on, would be privately raised.

He said buying the property would use “zero county dollars.” After buying Paradise Gardens, the county only would have to provide normal maintenance service such as clearing drainage ditches and would not be renovating any of the buildings, he said.

Tommy Littleton, who runs Paradise Gardens Park and Museum, said county ownership probably would help with securing grants. He said such funding has been the gardens’ “primary hurdle” because donors said they wanted to be sure their beneficiary is stable and secure before giving.

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