Cemetery effort will be valuable; help needed

Marietta and Washington County are known for their history and much of that history can be found in the area’s cemeteries.

That’s why we support an effort within Marietta to more accurately map and catalog the city’s cemeteries. It’s hoped that once this occurs, more interest will lead to funding to help make necessary cemetery improvements.

One of the people behind the effort is City Councilman Roger Kalter who says Marietta’s Oak Grove Cemetery, the largest of the city-owned cemeteries, needs a quarter million dollars in repairs alone. That cemetery is known for its trees and many were damaged in severe storms last summer. Falling limbs also damaged grave markers.

At The Marietta Times, we know first hand there is keen interest in local cemeteries. Our ongoing series, Grave Matters, which features cemeteries in Marietta and across the county, is very popular with readers. We also know genealogy is very popular with local residents and others who visit the area. Accurate burial records are key to helping people trace their personal stories.

But the larger issue is the care of our cemeteries in general. Local cemeteries, like Mound Cemetery in Marietta, carry an historical significance. Mound Cemetery because of the indian mound, but also because of the large number of Revolutionary War veterans buried there. The cemetery is an educational tool for local schools. It’s an attraction for tourists.

Local cemeteries are the final resting places of past residents and loved ones. It’s only right that the citizens of today care for the graves of those who came before us.

There have been many individual efforts to repair and improve local cemeteries and there are individuals who already have spent many hours determining which residents are buried where. But we like the idea of the city doing a comprehensive effort that will eventually provide a complete database that will be available in print and online.

To make this happen, volunteers are needed. We urge readers to consider helping with this project. A meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday at Marietta College’s Legacy Library. Anyone with interest should attend this meeting.