A local young man working on his Eagle Scout project led a group over the July 4 and 5 holiday to clean up the old Howard Cemetery, located near Waverly.
Ethan Lawson, 17, will be a senior at Waverly High School this year, and has always known about the cemetery because it sits adjacent to his grandparents’ property. The project included a lot of hard work, with extensive clearing of brush involved.
Aided by fellow scouts, Lawson and his team not only cleared brush, but raked leaves, and scraped and uncovered some gravestones, using a specialized cleaner for the project. The compound aided in making the old headstones easier to read. Lawson stated that they also pulled up stumps.
While the work was completed on very hot days, Lawson said they were grateful to be in a shaded woody area.
Lawson was assisted by a number of people, including his father, Chad Lawson; fellow members of Troop 5100; Aubry McClintic, of Troop 7100, one of the first female troops in the area; a father and son team from Troop 6171 of Hillsboro, Roger and Ty Hottinger, who heard about the project via the internet; and others. A total of 20 people assisted Lawson with the project.
“There’s so many other things those kids could have been doing on a Fourth of July holiday, but they came out and worked full days,” said Michael Blum, scoutmaster for local Waverly Troop 5100 of Boy Scouts of America.
The old cemetery includes graves of a Revolutionary War soldier, James Findley, who died in 1821, and a Civil War soldier, Lewis Blake, who died in 1876. Lawson indicated that he believes the most recent grave he found in the cemetery dates to the late 1800’s.
The cemetery sits in PeePee Township, and township trustees Richard Henderson, Dave DeWitt, and Jim Helton came out on July 8 to view the completed project.