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Old 12-19-2014, 08:43 AM
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Default A Local Historical Cemetery Coming "Back To Life"

I had mentioned in a previous post that I love history and hanging out in old cemeteries. I also mentioned that my son and I had started to clean out and restore a local cemetery with a significant tie to our local history. This burial site is roughly 3/4 of a mile from my home and some of the earliest pioneers to this area are buried there. There are three " marked whole stones" and about 11 or 12 unmarked stones within the area that measures about 25' X 35'. It was once surrounded by a pipe railing which the property owner told me a local jerk had ripped down a few years ago and sold it off for scrap prices (he was caught and prosecuted). The three whole stones belong to "Issac Holsopple" who died on Feb, 4, 1883 at the age of 82. his wife "Christena" who died on Feb. 11, 1878 and their son "Issac". Issac senior's father had been taken into the then Ohio Territory in the early 1880s and burned at the stake for "helping the white man". Their daughter Rachael married David Shaffer and in the late 1890s, their entire farm was bought up by the Berwind White Coal Company for what we would consider today as pennies on the acre. Berwind then exploited immigrant miners for slave labor in the mines they opened, owned every aspect of their lives and the Shaffer farm eventually became what is now my hometown.

This area was strip mined when I was a child and I remember this 1/4 acre of ground was the only thing left untouched. Flash forward many years and our middle daughter came home from school one day and asked if I knew of any old cemeteries where she could do some crayon or pencil etchings of the stones. I took her to this site and it was completely overgrown so we chopped our way in and she did her etchings. We also asked the owner at that time if we could clean it out, fix the stones and make it presentable again to which they were more than happy to allow. We had it to the point that we were cutting grass there every other week or so. A few years later (January, 1998), we lost our precious daughter at the age of 14 to a motor vehicle accident. Even though I hunted deer in this area all the time, I could never go back because the site of her accident could easily be seen from this hill about 1/4 mile away. I never went back until about a month ago.

The pictures below tell the tale of before and after cleanup. I'm not physically able to do much heavy work anymore so I credit my son for doing the heavy lifting. We also brought the stones of Issac Sr. and Christena home for repairs in my basement. As can be seen, Issac's will be a relatively easy fix but Christena's is going to be a challenge. Next spring, they will be returned and even if I have to pay for it by myself, we will build a replacement fence around the burial site. I am also in the process of trying to have it proclaimed an official historical site.

Hope y'all enjoy!
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A Local Historical Cemetery Coming "Back To Life"-holsopple-grave-019a-jpg   A Local Historical Cemetery Coming "Back To Life"-done-winter-001a-jpg   A Local Historical Cemetery Coming "Back To Life"-stones-home-001a-jpg   A Local Historical Cemetery Coming "Back To Life"-stones-home-003a-jpg  
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