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“Silent Witnesses” [WSH cemetary rededication]

I found this in todays edition of the Warren Times-Observer, it discusses a rededication ceremony to be held on Sept 26th in memory of folks wo died and were buried in a cemetary on Warren State Hospital grounds.  The original artical in is original format can be found at … http://www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/506277.html 

Silent Witnesses

 

Rededication set for WSH cemetery

By CHUCK HAYES chayes@timesobserver.com

There will be 954 silent witnesses.

A rededication ceremony has been scheduled for the 127-year-old Warren State Hospital cemetery which state hospital employees and volunteers have been restoring during the past two years.

The cemetery, with 954 gravesites, is located along the north side of Jackson Run Rd. in North Warren, on a hillside near the state hospital and what is now Lowe’s at the Warren Commons.

The cemetery was overgrown and virtually forgotten until September 2006 when the state hospital established a Cemetery Restoration Committee.

Committee members did a substantial amount of research of state hospital archives to locate and identify each of the gravesites, most of which only had obscured numbered ground-level markers and no names or dates.

Fewer than a dozen of the graves had an appropriate headstone.

Records indicate the first burial at the cemetery took place in 1881. David Kucherawy, CEO at the hospital, said that in addition to the state hospital employees, approximately 50 volunteers from the public and an Eagle Scout were involved in the restoration project.

Kucherawy said that the hospital also worked with the Warren County Jail and probation department to enlist the help of persons fulfilling community service requirements.

Although the volunteers wanted to restore the cemetery to as close to its original appearance as possible, Kucherawy said that no photographs of the original cemetery could be located. The volunteers reconstructed pathways, the entrance to the cemetery and landscaping.

A rededication ceremony, which is open the public, will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 26. Due to limited parking at the cemetery, shuttle service will be available from the Lowe’s parking lot, beginning at 9:45 a.m.

Nameplates are still being engraved, but by the time of the rededication ceremony, said Kucherawy, each of the gravesites will have a headstone with namesplates, which will include the dates of birth and death.

Funding for the headstones and nameplates came from donations from volunteers and the public and the hospital’s operating fund.

 

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