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February 20, 2017

Bringing the Dead Back to Life: An Eagle Scout's Project

"David Swegle wanted to do something unique for his Eagle Scout community project, and bringing the dead back to life certainly qualifies for that category." Source

Example of Buried Tombstone
David Swegle, 15, knew that he wanted to contribute to the community in his Illinois town with something historical in origin.

So he contacted the nearby Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society to ask if they had any projects on the go. He was put in touch with President Pat Gorman who had been restoring grave markers in the Oakwood cemetery in his spare time

15 year old Swegle worked with Gorman and identified eight stones that had been buried, broken or displaced, the oldest of which dates to 1845 and belongs to 2-month-old William McCraw.

They began digging up the buried stones, cleaning with a special solution to removie algae and other material, scrubbing the stones, and hosing them off.

Then they re-lettered the stones using pungent, dark shadow paint. The repaired stones will be replaced in the spring. Young David also plans to research the people whose stones he repaired to discover pieces of their history and their family. Officials believe there may be over 100 stones that are buried.

Read the full story at Dixon Boy Scout rehabs 8 tombstones in Oakwood Cemetery


dancer said...

They scrubbed the stones and also removed some of them?? I hope they are returned to their proper places with no damage done, despite their wonderful intentions.

Dana Leeds said...

I think dancer misunderstood... I believe they removed algae off of the stones, that they didn't remove the stones. Hopefully, they are doing a wonderful job of restoring and preserving this cemetery!