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Chester County Press

Local scouts team up to repair neglected cemetery

05/07/2018 02:03PM ● By J. Chambless

Scouts and volunteers began the cleanup project last weekend.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

A long-neglected cemetery on Little Creek Road in Lincoln University is getting a clean-up thanks to two local Boy Scouts, their families, and their fellow scouts from Troop 44 in Oxford.

Elkridge Cemetery, at 399 Little Elk Creek Rd., is owned by someone outside of Pennsylvania, and they have given permission for the clean-up, according to Colby DeHaut, one of the two prospective Eagle Scouts working on the project. The other is Luke Winand, who lives in West Nottingham Township.

“I will be starting to clear Elkridge of downed trees, and trees that are posing either a risk of falling, or could cause future issues,” DeHaut said last week. “Then I will be clearing out an old church foundation that's full of dirt, brush and tree saplings. Then I will be putting in a sitting area and flagpole.

The Elkridge Cemetery has been neglected and vandalized, and two local scouts are starting a restoration project at the site.

 “Luke's project is clearing up the brush and the dead underlayer of grass and leaves within the cemetery, with the goal of restoring the gravestones to the best of his ability, along with finding any sunken gravestones, if possible.”

The church structure burned down years ago, and the site has been overlooked and vandalized. Some of the graves are for people born in the 1820s. The earliest documented death is 1842.

The two scouts are both working on their Eagle Scout projects at the site. They are independent projects, but focused on the same site. The scouts learned about the neglected cemetery from local resident Bert Nilan, who contacted Bob McMahon, an adult who is part of Troop 44.

The group started clean-up work at the site last weekend, and they will return as often as possible, DeHaut said. “Our hope is to get it done by July 4, but at the latest, sometime in August,” he said. “We are both looking for community help, and volunteers can just show up. They can contact either of us for a work date. We are looking for people willing to help move wood and get ready for the crane I am trying to get in June to move the larger trees. We would like volunteers to try and bring work gloves if they have them. The main part at the moment is removing brush and smaller trees to prepare for the crane.

“We are looking for donations to help pay for the lumber, gravel, cleaners for the gravestones, and the crane costs. The compiling place for money will be our troop's bank account, and we will be returning whatever is not used,” DeHaut said.

Those interested in finding out more, or helping fund the project, can email Colby DeHaut ([email protected]) or Luke Winand ([email protected]). Donations, made payable to Troop 44, can be sent to 415 Hodgson St., Oxford PA 19363.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email [email protected].