Man Tries to Save Cemetery From Being Washed Away - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Brian Spyros

Man Tries to Save Cemetery From Being Washed Away

Updated:
The Anchor of Hope Cemetery was just named one of the top 10 historic sites in the state of Maryland in danger of disappearing. (Photo: WBOC) The Anchor of Hope Cemetery was just named one of the top 10 historic sites in the state of Maryland in danger of disappearing. (Photo: WBOC)

HOOPER'S ISLAND, Md.- A man in Dorchester County is trying to save a historic cemetery that is on the verge of being swept into the Chesapeake Bay.

Donald Willey has been working for eight years to save the Anchor of Hope Cemetery on Hooper's Island. He has cleared away the trees and brush that have covered the cemetery for years.

"It needs to be taken care of and I knew if I didn't do it nobody else would," Willey said.

Willey says so far he has uncovered some 150 graves. The oldest graves dates back to 1805. Willey says on days when the weather is bad the surf beats against the shore and erodes away parts of the cemetery. Willey is in the process of putting down rocks and concrete to limit the erosion.

Many of the people buried in the cemetery are descendents of the Travers family, who used to own a nearby plantation. Willey said the family's slaves are also buried in the area.

"These people all meant something. They strived, worked and fought for preserving this land for us," Willey said.

In order to place boulders along the shore Willey said he needs donations, manpower and equipment. He is also looking for a chain link fence to put around the cemetery so he can bring goats into the area. He says they will help keep down all the grass and weeds that keep popping up.

The Anchor of Hope Cemetery was just named one of the top 10 historic sites in the state of Maryland in danger of disappearing.

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