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Maintenance a growing issue for local cemeteries

Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 4:19 pm

By Ethan Colbert
bgted@lcs.net

Toppled headstones of a husband and wife long deceased. Shrubbery hides the identities of two children who never reached age 10. Faded flowers left by a visitor who has not returned in many years.
These scenes are becoming more common as the nation and its cemeteries age.
On Memorial Day — the busiest day of the year for cemeteries nationwide — loved ones will flock to remember those gone before. They will place wreaths, flowers, and other keepsakes on the headstones and grave markers.
What about the rest of the year?
Maintenance is a continuing problem and has been since cemeteries began, according to the Missouri Cemetery Association. As the country ages, cemeteries grow and sometimes fade, creating problems such as abandonment and decline.
As the decades go, descendants move away and once-vibrant church congregations are forced to close their church doors. Communities like Spencerberg, Elk Lick Springs, Busch, and Buckner Hollow thrive but then due to economic challenges they die.

The Fairview Cemetery in Frankford is one of the county’s oldest cemeteries. Yet, the Fairview Cemetery and many other cemeteries in Pike County are struggling to afford the cost of maintenance and improvements due to decreases in donations and other monetary gifts.

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