Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cemetery Restoration

Tomorrow (Sunday) Scott and I will return to St. Nicholas Cemetery at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station after a two-year hiatus. We finally have approval to continue with, and complete, the restoration of a cemetery that had been entirely buried by the Navy in 1943 when the air station was created. This involves locating, excavating, recording, repairing if necessary, and re-erecting monuments that have been buried these 65 years.

The techniques that we have developed at St. Nicholas should be well-suited to the restoration of the late historic cemetery (north side of town) at Port Tobacco. That cemetery was buried with sediment by the early 20th century. Restoring it means not only the recognition of those who lived and died in town; it is also akin to recovering a small long-lost library, unearthing the names, relationships, fraternal and military affiliations, and dates of birth and death of the town's 19th-century inhabitants. Potentially, recovery of this archive could greatly enhance our understanding of Port Tobacco's past. Restoring it will be our gift to the current residents, many of whom have ancestors interred there. We have the skills, the technology, and the motivation...just need time and money.

Perhaps Scott will post a couple of pictures tomorrow to show you what we do and how.


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