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Waynesboro High School Historians Clean Up Cemetery - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Waynesboro High School Historians Clean Up Cemetery

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WAYNESBORO, Va (WVIR) -

Since recent vandalism has taken a toll on Waynesboro's old Presbyterian graveyard, some students and the Waynesboro Heritage Museum came together to fix things up.

There's only so much that can be done in one day, but Friday, the Waynesboro High School Historians Club did its part to clean up the site. It also discovered some pieces of the past along the way.

Waynesboro High School history teacher Angela Loan and a handful of Waynesboro High School students volunteered to help clean the city's Presbyterian cemetery, and the kind gesture came with some presents.

"So many kids live here all their lives and they have no idea how much history is right here in Waynesboro, so what my vision was was to start teaching kids about local history outside of the textbook,” Loan said.

Loan and the students found some surprises for themselves during the clean-up.

"I know that one of the items was a crock. We saw several pieces of porcelain. And so now it's kind of an investigative process in trying to find out what is the origin and what is the history behind it, which is kind of neat,” Loan said.

"Walking around here just gives you a whole new outlook…It feels really good just to clean up this place and just give back to the community because this place was in desperate need of help,” said student volunteer Laura Freed.

Freed and other young volunteers were excited to uncover more about the long history in the cemetery. At least 13 confederate soldiers are buried there.

While people like Shirley Bridgeforth, president of the board of directors for the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, would like to see repairs to the cemetery, and this is a start.

"To be able to say that we do have this older cemetery, people are constantly looking for genealogy records, and here it would be. I think it would be a nice attraction to the city,” Bridgeforth said.

Volunteers say they would like to make this an annual event. Next, the students will spend some time digging into the past and learning more about the artifacts they found Friday.

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