Cemetery upgrades under way

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 6, 2007

CAPRON—Nearly 70 years after the town acquired it, the Capron Cemetery is getting some much-needed upgrades.

Through the hard work of several families that have loved ones buried there, and with the blessings and help of Mayor Nick Kitchen and the rest of the Town Council, the grounds have been cleared, a new crepe myrtle border has been planted and a new fence is planned.

With a total projected cost of $30,000, the Capron Fence Project is expected to be one of the most extensive improvement projects in the cemetery’s history.

When the work is complete, visitors to the cemetery will enter the grounds on existing gravel roads that are situated between pairs of brick pillars.

The wrought iron fence has been removed and taken to a Norfolk-based company, which will sandblast it. The fence will then be re-painted and re-installed, anchored into the ground and no longer leaning in various directions.

Patsy Marks, who co-chairs the committee that is organizing the restoration and upgrade, said

people in town have been quite supportive of the effort, which kicked off at a Memorial Day service that was held at the cemetery.

Some families have contributed their time and energy to helping with the labor that has been involved with the project. Others have contributed money. Some families have helped out with both.

“There are a lot of community volunteers that have helped,” she said during a recent interview at the cemetery. “I think (the project) has been accepted by the community in a very positive way.”

That support came early, with a substantial donation toward the renovations by a member of the community who wished to remain anonymous.

The committee has continued to raise money for the project, which it hopes will be complete by the end of the month, seeking $900-donations for each of the 17 brick pillars that was included in the design. Fourteen of those pillars have been donated in memory of families’ loved ones so far, she said.

“Our mission is for our cemetery to be a beautiful resting place and one that we all can be proud of,” she wrote in a letter to the community earlier this year. “The fence, with its beauty and age, has been the driving force for the project. If we can bring the fence back to its original beauty, it will stand tall and stately for many generations to come.

“Our main goal is to preserve our past in order for it to be here for generations to come,” she added while standing at the cemetery where some of her own family and friends are buried.

For more information about the project, call Marks at 434-658-4870 or 757-653-8345. Donations may be sent to Town of Capron, c/o Patsy Marks, 19461 Buckhorn Quarter Road, Capron, VA 23829. Make checks payable to “Town of Capron-Cemetery Fence Project,” and be sure to include your name, address and phone number so you may be contacted.