Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-11-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 THE VALLEY APRIL 11-17, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION LINCOLN – This Saturday, April 13, a small but dedicated group of volunteers will showcase the progress they've made cleaning up the area's historic cemeteries and invite others to join them in their efforts through- out the state. Christine MacWilliams serves as chairperson of the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Restoration and Awareness Day, an annual event now in its fourth year statewide. Every year, members of various local cem- etery organizations unite to spend one day cleaning up locations in all 39 communities in the state. It's an opportunity to showcase their efforts and invite new volunteers to join them in restoring the final resting places of the dead. For MacWilliams, who also serves on the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission, restoring old cemeteries has become a personal mission. She first became involved in cleanup efforts when she answered an advertisement in The Valley Breeze from the Friends of Smithfield Cemeteries looking for volunteers. The group, like many others in the state, oversees cleanup efforts at historic cemeteries in a specific town. State records esti- mate there are approximately 3,200 historic cemeteries around the state. The volunteer work, she explained, is as much about the camaraderie of members as it is about the physical labor. "You make a lot of friends, you real- ly do, because you have the one thing in common, and that's to put back dignity and respect into these burial grounds," she said. In many cases, she explained, historic cemeteries have no formal ownership, leaving their maintenance to volunteers or groups or municipali- ties that adopt them. The individual stones are left in the same situation, though a few belong to individuals prominent enough to be remembered over time. In some cemeteries, graves are marked with plain, un-inscribed stones or else stones whose markings have worn away. MacWilliams encouraged residents interested in learning more about historic cemetery restoration to visit a cleanup site on Saturday and vol- unteer. She also invited residents to adopt a gravestone or small area of a historic cemetery near their home to help ensure these sites are cared for in the future. Volunteers are needed in Lincoln between 9 a.m. and noon this Saturday, April 13, to help clean up the historical and rarely seen Lincoln 34 (Simon Aldrich) cemetery, where prominent individuals such as Simon and Anna Sayles are buried, along with veterans dating back to the Spanish-American War. Contact Ken Postle of the Blackstone Valley Historical Society at postle6@cox.net. Postle said homeowner Emily Ann and her husband have been gracious enough to open their private property at 1890 Old Louisquisset Pike to the public on Saturday so that volunteers can access the cemetery, which is across from the BVHS building on the pike. People can park at BVHS and walk over, or along the side of the road. Volunteers should dress to work outdoors, with boots, tall socks, long pants, a hat or hood and gloves to stave-off poison ivy and ticks, Postle said. People are encouraged to bring a leaf rake, leaf blower and tools to cut- back overgrowth. A full list of cleanup sites and local contacts is available on the Historic Cemetery Commission website at www.rihistoriccemeteries.org under the events tab. Statewide historic cemetery cleanup is Saturday By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com Scott pond cleanup volunteers will meet at Lower Road A story in the April 4-10 issue of The Valley Breeze titled "Budget proposes $1.35 million in road repairs" incorrectly stated that the Lincoln Financial Town meeting would be held May 14. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 13, at 7 p.m. LINCOLN – Volunteers for the Blackstone River Watershed Council's cleanup of the Scott Pond area on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to noon, will meet at 19 Lower Road, not 19 Lower River Road, as reported in last week's paper. To register, visit www.CleanupBRWC.Eventbrite.com or call 401-996-1542. 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