Cemeteries On Endangered List

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

Linda Dickerson says she was shocked when she learned the state of some of the rural cemeteries in Warren County.

"I was truly surprised. I didn't know the extent of deterioration that had gone throughout the county with the rural cemeteries."

"Rural cemeteries are often in people's fields or perhaps in a clump of woods and so they're not being cared for and in some cases they're even being damaged by people who don't realize its a felony to actually let your cattle run through them," according to Robin Zeigler of the Historic Preservation Board.

Changing times is the reason Dickerson says these final resting places are being forgotten and not looked after.

"The major reason cemeteries have fallen into a state of deterioration is because generations move away from the community because of economics."

So far, the Warren County Cemetery Board has found nearly 300 rural cemeteries countywide and despite the lack of money to properly restore these monuments, they're currently working on the restoration of ten of them.

"Our cemeteries are so important because they're historic resources that you really can't get in any other way or anywhere else. The artwork tells us something about how we used to view death. The symbols tell us something about the person who's buried there," notes Zeigler.

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