Cemetery Neglect

Michael S Sheaffer finding his 3rd Great Grandfather's headstone 2007

Michael S Sheaffer in 2007

I recently visited some local cemeteries overt the past week to tidy up some of my relatives and ancestors headstones as I often do throughout the year. I do this to ensure they are not forgotten and to make sure they do not get overgrown from neglect. As I visited 3 local cemeteries that I hadn’t been to since spring I was disappointed to see how 1 particular cemetery one of the oldest and largest in the area is being maintained. In particular disarray was the older section of the cemetery which happens to be where my great-grandmother and her family are located. They have flat headstones which are level with the ground surface and have always been an issue of overgrowth if not kept up. It was not their particular appearance that shocked me but the entire older section was itself neglected and not kept up with. Many of the old headstones have weeds and even bushes growing over and around them completely covering up some of the headstones. As you look around and view the newer section you see nicely paved pathways to drive on and walk through along with manicured landscaping and freshly cut grass. When you look at the older section you see neglect all over beginning with the pathways which haven’t been maintained as the fading black top is overrun with weeds and grass. It is truly sad to watch as this section begins to fade away with neglect when there is so much history to be learned from. I do not know the reason why they purposely maintain one section and totally ignore another but I would hope this is just a short-term issue that will be addressed quickly. I have contacted the cemetery through an email and have yet to get a response. I will do my part and do the upkeep on my ancestors headstones and nearby ones as well and hope the ownership of this cemetery does their part and maintains the ENTIRE cemetery and not just the newer section.

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