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Volunteers clean up Mount Wood Cemetery

Updated: Sunday, August 3 2014, 05:44 PM EDT

WHEELING, W.Va.


Over the years, broken headstones and unmarked graves have haunted Mount Wood Cemetery in Wheeling.


It's been around since 1848, making it the oldest cemetery in the city, and on Sunday, volunteers donated their day to work hard to clean it up.


"I’ve always been a history buff and have always loved old historical cemeteries and I just like to learn the different history you can find out about cemetery stones and everything,” said volunteer, Heather Cline.


That’s that's the main reason Cline has been coming to Mount Wood Cemetery to volunteer.


She said she learned how to conserve cemetery stones through a workshop and a conservation internship.


"We're mainly focusing on the small headstones and gravestones that we as volunteers,  can tackle,” said Rebekah Karelis, historian for Wheeling National Heritage Area.


Karelis said today their job was to look for gravestones that have fallen over, or are dirty, so they can clean them up, level them, and reset them.


They have a restore Mount Wood fund that they use to purchase all of the cleaning supplies.


On Friday, Rock of Ages did a second round of large monument resetting to some of the larger and heavier stones.


"There's a lot of people who consider this place a special place, and always come up here and once they've learned what we were doing, they want to come and lend a hand,” said Karelis.


This is a monthly routine volunteer’s do; on the first weekend of every month, anyone is welcome to stop by and help clean-up the cemetery.


Karelis also mentioned that not all of the work involves back-breaking work like digging; basic cleaning around the cemetery is also needed.

Volunteers clean up Mount Wood Cemetery


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