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Volunteers work to clean, preserve historical cemetery

Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:36 AM

PROCTORVILLE -- There is a lot of history at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery for AnnaBelle King.

Her brother passed away five years ago, and he was the last person to be buried there, said King, the president of the Mt. Pisgah Committee, which works to maintain the cemetery along Ohio 775.

On Saturday, the committee partnered up with Boy Scout Troop 38, based in Proctorville, for its annual Make A Difference Day cleanup of the cemetery.

The committee and the pack have been working together for several years to take care of the basic maintenance of the cemetery, including mowing, racking and weeding, said Scoutmaster Alan Mannon.

"Some of these boys are in middle school, and they've been coming here since they were 8- and 9-years-old," he said. "It's one of the Boy Scout tenets to be involved in community service, and this is a way for them to get community service hours while upholding the history of this cemetery."

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery is a predominantly black cemetery that was founded along with Mt. Pisgah Church in 1899. It contains the graves of at least three Civil War veterans and several freed slaves.

The Mt. Pisgah Committee is no longer in charge of maintaining the church, but King said it is important for the committee to maintain the cemetery not only for its historical significance but also for the personal connections committee members have with it.

"Everyone on the committee has ancestors who are buried there," she said. "I hope this is something these young people on the committee and in the scouts can continue to take care of down the road because it really serves to preserve a part of the history of their own past and the past of this community."

The committee functions entirely from donations from the community.

To make a donation, mail checks to Mt. Pisgah Committee, P.O. Box 513, Proctorville, Ohio, 45669.

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