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Volunteers work to restore one of Virginia’s oldest cemeteries

Posted at 3:14 PM, Aug 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-11 15:14:23-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Restoration work is underway at one of Central Virginia’s oldest cemeteries.

A team of volunteers is working at Petersburg’s Blandford Cemetery; the retirees come out every Monday in the summer as part of the Historic Blandford Church Foundation.

Each summer they typically repair 35-50 tombstones, some dating back to the 1700s.

The historic cemetery still in use today has 75,000 graves; or as they see it, a city of souls for those who lived and prospered in Petersburg.

"Our goal is to reset these stones,” said Walter Brown, with the Historic Blandford Church Foundation. “Quite often it is just a matter of digging around the stone and aligning it into a perpendicular position, and then we use a soft brush and clean the debris to clean the stains from the stones themselves.”

The group right now is repairing grave markers closest to historic Blandford Church and they document each stone repaired, including documentation on the family.

Their efforts are supported through donations to the non-profit organization.