TILTONSVILLE - A village cemetery is in the process of being "rescued."
Village workers, volunteers and members of the Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society have completed some of the work at the Hodgen's Cemetery, more commonly called Mound Cemetery.
Headstones have been unearthed and reset at the cemetery, which includes a mound dating back to the prehistoric Adena culture. The cemetery itself is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition, the genealogical society is cataloging and taking pictures of stones in connection with its cemetery restoration project.
"We had a good working crew and want to thank the genealogical society," said Village
Administrator Carl Sgalla.
He described the project as a learning and rewarding experience.
"We've got to take care of that cemetery," said Sgalla. "We want to get it back in shape."
Those working on the project dug under the base of some markers, did some leveling, poured footers and set the base back down, according to Sgalla, who noted the big stones have been reset, but five or six markers still need work. Plans are to work on them during the second week in June.
Sgalla also said the genealogical group will continue its work in the cemetery.
Some small markers had been buried several years ago but have been unearthed. Sgalla said he learned about the erosion problem and how to fix it from historian Robert H. Richardson.
According to Richardson, the grave markers had been buried on the southwest area of the Adena Mound.
Sgalla noted funds are needed for stones to mark the graves of the Tilton family, which includes the village's founder, John Tilton, and his wife, Susanna, as well as their two children.
The group is hopeful a ceremony can be held this fall regarding the new markers.
Donations for the Tilton Monument Fund are being accepted through Citizens Bank in Martins Ferry or any of its branches, including Tiltonsville.
The genealogical society also is accepting donations to help with its restoration project begun in the county seven years ago. Members are working to renovate and catalog the 176 pioneer cemeteries in Jefferson County.
Volunteers donate their time to read tombstone inscriptions and locate, clean and restore the cemeteries. For information about the project, go online to www.jeffcochapter.com.