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Web letter: Adams County example of how to restore cemetery in disrepair

The article, “Forgotten Hoagland cemetery ‘disgrace’, (Dec. 9), brought back some memories from years past. The name of the cemetery wasn’t Pleasant Valley, but Mt. Tabor and old Mt. Tabor cemeteries. They were directly across from each other on the Piqua Road in St. Marys Township, Adams County.

Mt. Tabor wasn’t in despair but needed some help. You could drive down Piqua Road and be past the cemetery before you ever knew it was there. Vegetation was along the road and you couldn’t see over it.

The old Mt. Tabor Cemetery was on the north side of Piqua road about 100 yards from the road and behind a residence. It was terrible. The monuments were all over the place, weeds were everywhere and animals had taken over the property.

I brought it up before the advisory board about what to do about the situation, and I had a plan that maybe I could get some local help. I contacted a local contractor, David Luginbill of David Luginbill Excavating and Trucking.

He removed the vegetation in Mt. Tabor Cemetery, leveled the soil and I planted some grass seed. It still looks good today.

The old Mt. Tabor Cemetery was a different situation with some of the monuments on the ground, but we got it done. The day that it was done, Luginbill asked me what we were we going to do and I said that we were going to salvage what we could of the monuments and level the soil and place all of the broken monuments in one area. I walked along side the bulldozer with my hand on the bucket as we worked our way through the cemetery. I signaled if I saw anything if front of the dozer.

We also had the St. Marys Township Park with a fence separating the park from three residences that was also over grown with vegetation. Dave came to bat again and removed all vegetation and the fence and hauled it away.

A member of the St. Marys Township Advisory, Richard Johnson had the knowledge of building a wire fence so it was installed. We also had help from others and I had contacted the Adams County Sheriff Department to see if I could check out some inmates to help. I picked them up at the jail and they left with a box lunch and spent the day either in a cemetery or at the township park. I did that for several days until the job was completed. They enjoyed the day outside instead of being inside and contributed to the cause.

My advice for Madison Township Trustee Troy McDonald is to ask some business owners or farmers in the area whether someone has a tractor with a front-end loader and if someone with a dump truck who could haul away the trash away or maybe even contact National Serv All and maybe they would donate a rolloff container.

LARRY HILL Former St. Marys Township Trustee/Assessor Decatur

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