WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Weston woman’s efforts to restore the Old Hill Cemetery have earned her the Historic Landscape Restoration Award, presented through the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program.
The city’s Vice-Mayor Sherry Rogers said in a press release Tuesday that Anna Cardelli took an interest in the cemetery when she moved to Weston, and that her efforts sparked a renewed interest in the cemetery among the community.
The cemetery serves as the final resting place for many notable residents of Weston according to the cemetery’s entry in The Clio, which is one of the projects Cardelli worked on. That includes Alexander Scott Withers, who was one of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s teachers as well as the author of “Chronicles of Border Warfare”, which details the conflict between white settlers in western Virginia and Native Americans during the 1700s; Daniel Stringer, a co-founder of Weston, who also owned the first grist mill in town and was elected to Congress twice; Weeden Hoffman, who as one of Weston’s first merchants and opened the town’s first general store and an inn; and Benjamin Owen, publisher-editor of Weston’s first newspaper, The Weston Sentinel.
Rogers said that work includes putting resources in place for the safety of the cemetery and to ensure less vandalism, as well as preservation efforts. Cardelli has organized several seasonal workdays at the cemetery to clean debris and is currently working on resetting monuments and cleaning headstones, according to Rogers.
Rogers said Cardelli was the lynchpin in getting a ground penetrating radar professional to come to Weston for the documentation of the cemetery, which can be used to properly place some of the monuments. She has also worked with Catholic dioceses to confirm burials and researched to find new information on those buried in the cemetery, Rogers said.
Her efforts have also included a push for Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility and interpretive signage, Rogers said.
Cardelli has even put some of her own money into her efforts to preserve and improve the cemetery, according to Rogers.