Volunteers clean, repair graves at local cemetery

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Reporter- Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes

PRINCETON, KY- A wrought iron gate reads "City of the Dead."  But a group of volunteers, in town for the state's annual Preservation Conference, is hoping to make Cedar Hill Cemetery come alive.

 

The cemetery, dating back two centuries, is home to more than 12,000 graves.  Each stone has a story but because of a combination of weather, time, and the work of vandals, not every story can be told.

"It is amazing how many things you can find once its clean," Jason Church said.

Church, with the National Park Service, is in town because of the conference.  He is teaching people how to preserve and restore the ages old stones. 

Sue Lynn McDaniel from Bowling Green got to work on a stone from 1899.

The dirt she scrubbed away gave way to what she says was typical of the time, "People were viewing these cemeteries as parks where they could take their children and enjoy a picnic because they might not live in a place where they had a good backyard."

McDaniel said she was glad to be working on the stone belonging to a Dr. Burchard, "That's just one Kentuckian helping another."

 

And, Jason Church says, one more story that is able to be told, "We're not going to forget them if we keep them preserved."