Fence, pillars highlight new look

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

CAPRON—Thanks to the support of the Camp Younts Foundation and more than 100 individual contributors, the Capron Cemetery has a brand new look straight out of the pages of history.

A group of citizens that organized last year to make improvements at the cemetery has finished its work. Just as important, according to Patsy Marks, about $50,000 in bills has been paid.

&uot;The whole Capron community is grateful to the donors who made this possible,&uot; Marks said during a recent visit to the cemetery.

Marks co-chaired the committee in charge of the restoration and improvements, and her daughter designed the layout of the fence and brick pillars that now surround the graveyard.

There are 24 of those pillars spaced around the property now, each bearing a plaque with the name of a person or family that spent $900 to memorialize a loved one. Between every pair of pillars runs a section of newly restored wrought iron fence.

The group had the old fence repaired and rehabilitated by Ornamental Fence & Iron of Norfolk. Marks hastened to note that it’s &uot;original, not perfect.&uot; Some of the pickets are bent or irregularly spaced, she said, and conforming the fence to the sloping land proved to be a bit of a problem in some places.

Nonetheless, Marks and others are proud of the cemetery’s new look, especially the fact that it matches the old look so well.

Even Mayor Nick Kitchen got involved, taking an old piece of the arch that once crossed over the main entrance and using his welding expertise to design and build a new one with ornate detail that evokes memories of times gone by.

&uot;We’ve had many nice comments about the changes, the transformations we had here at the cemetery,&uot; Marks said as she pointed out the various improvements last week.

Among the new features is a row of crepe myrtle trees planted by one family in honor of their deceased son and brother.

&uot;Between both of them [the trees and the fence], we really do have a new look,&uot; Marks said. &uot;We were able to involve a lot of people who wanted to make a lasting tribute.&uot;

Taking the opportunity to make such a lasting tribute was at the foundation of the effort all along.

&uot;Our mission is for our cemetery to be a beautiful resting place and one that we all can be proud of,&uot; she wrote in a letter to the community last year. &uot;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.&uot;

The number of donations and the speed with which the work was completed were a bit overwhelming, she said. The project kicked off during the 2007 Memorial Day service, when a letter calling for donations was read to the participants. By Memorial Day this year, the job was complete and paid up, and organizers were able to thank all of the donors for their support.

&uot;There has been a lot of interest in the cemetery since this project has been in the works and completed,&uot; she said.