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No pauper farms found, but cemetery has such a spot
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Before there was the Social Security program, even a few years after it, there were pauper farms in most states. In Jackson County there is a pauper’s cemetery. Did Hall County have a pauper’s farm, and did it have a cemetery?

Unfortunately we were unable to find any evidence of pauper farms, or poorhouses as some called them. Tax records and obituaries from around the turn of the 20th century made no mention of them.

However, Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville has a pauper section that has been there since the cemetery was created in 1872, according to Alta Vista Superintendent Tommy Hunt.

“This is all hearsay, not historical fact, but it is my understanding that this section was primarily for people passing through town,” Hunt said. “If someone was riding the railways and died, it was a health concern and they had to put them somewhere.”

In addition, when Alta Vista became the municipal cemetery, also in 1872, burying the dead in private lots was mostly outlawed and the pauper section was used as an alternative, Hunt said.

The pauper section and the free ground, which was used for African-Americans before desegregation, have very few records, so it is unclear under what circumstances most of the occupants died.

“Unless they have a headstone, we have no idea who is buried there,” Hunt said.

The section is roughly an acre in Alta Vista Cemetery, 521 Jones St., Gainesville.

Do I have to obey traffic signs in parking lots? If I don’t, can I be ticketed?

According to Hall County Deputy John Marshall, parking lots are typically on private property and the signs are there merely to assist with traffic. This means law enforcement usually cannot write tickets unless it is for reckless driving, DUI or another similar criminal charge.

“Mostly they are there for courtesy and safety issues,” Marshall said.

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