Project to Restore Crisfield Cemetery, Dating Back to Civil War - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Project to Restore Crisfield Cemetery, Dating Back to Civil War Era

Posted: Feb 07, 2018 6:00 PM Updated:

CRISFIELD, Md.- Through the mud, the marsh, and the over grown trees rest the bodies of 500 souls. The Union Asbury Cemetery dates back to the 1800s, but most of the graves are covered.

Back in the woods, only 50 graves are visible of the hundreds that are on the property. And in order to fix up the area to make it a place for individuals to pay their respects, a restoration project is needed.

That's where Joe Paden comes in. With over a decade's worth of experience restoring cemeteries, Paden is now taking on the project deep in the heart of Crisfield.

"What we're fighting against is father time, we're fighting against drainage, we're fighting against the standing water," Paden explained.

Paden's enthusiasm and passion for this place comes out as he walks through the site. He emphasizes the importance of the project in order to remember the lives that rest here.

Doctors, Civil War veterans, and even waterman all lie in Union Asbury Cemetery. The stones date back as far to the Civil War era and as early as 2015.

Paden is organizing a weekend for volunteers to come out and help with the project. He is in need of 150 people who are willing to come out and remove trees and clean up the area.

"We're going to bring in dirt and create drainage systems so that way it drains off," Paden said.

Paden has been coming out for a few months now prepping and mapping out the land. He brings his 12-year-old son, Alex, along with him and says it's a father, son bonding experience unlike any other.

The land is about 500 feet long and 300 feet wide, Paden has broken it up into several phases. The first phase he estimates will cost $10,000.

He encourages anyone who is thinking of volunteering or donating to visit Chesapeake Story Tours Facebook Page. There they can contact Paden and find out more details.

"It's not just saving history, you're also making it as well because this will be remembered," he said.

The volunteer dates are March 17th and 18th. Paden has also partnered with Friends of Crisfield to make applying for grants easier.

 

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