Graves at the Milton Cemetery on Berryhill Road were spared Friday night when a rainstorm with high winds took down a large old oak tree.

The tree uprooted and broke at the top of the trunk then tumbled over on top of several graves. A couple of headstones were toppled, but there was no apparent serious damage.

The tree fell primarily over the cemetery plots and graves of the Tolbert family. Milton Cemetery Manager Bill Bledsoe says a member of the Tolbert family met him at the cemetery Saturday morning to get a closer look.

“It was one of the biggest trees we had in the cemetery, spread out over a wide area” Bledsoe notes. “But when it came down, it all piled up in one pile.”

The branches of the tree wrapped around the headstone of Pvt. Lofton Thompson but did not break it. It looks as though the tree branches may have moved the grave marker to the side about two feet.

Bledsoe says a contractor has already been lined up to come out Monday and take out the tree, which he says was mostly rotten, even thought it was still alive. He says the tree was quite old.

The Milton Cemetery operates on $3,500 a year provided by the city of Milton. Bledsoe says while the money is appreciated, it is not near enough to maintain the grounds.

Anyone wishing to donate to the upkeep of the cemetery or anyone who would liked to donate the use of their time and equipment to cut costs for the non-profit can call 686-1122.