Scouts give facelift to historic cemetery
A local Boy Scout troop is leaving a mark in the community by preserving and beautifying a historic Gahanna cemetery.
Boy Scout Troop 98, involving Scouts from Gahanna and Blacklick, have been working to restore a cemetery affiliated with Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church as part of Ray Greenfield's Eagle project.
The cemetery, on Andalus Drive, off U.S. Route 62, was established in 1838, according to a sign off Route 62. It's the historic site of the Evangelical Lutheran Frieden's congregation that served the families of Mifflin and Jefferson townships.
The Lutheran cemetery also was known as the Kramer-Kring Cemetery.
Scoutmaster Rob Ward suggested the project to Greenfield after two other Eagle project proposals didn't materialize.
"My dad and I were doing family research and found my great-, great-, great-grandfather (was buried) here," he said. "We looked at names. So many people drive by the cemetery all the time. When I was a kid, it looked neglected. This helps out a lot. A function of Boy Scouts is to serve our community."
Greenfield, a 2013 Hartley High School graduate, said the project has been a difficult one, but various people volunteered to help.
Tom Harper found himself leveling headstones to support his son, Sam, who's a member of the troop. He took notice of headstone inscriptions and found some dating back 138 years.
John Jordan volunteered his muscle to help level monuments with a crowbar because he's a friend of Scout member Reed Arrowood.
Greenfield said he estimates the troop and volunteers fixed 75 to 100 headstones. More than a dozen Scouts and their helpers spent about seven hours on the project July 20, as well as two weeks prior.
"The work they've done has been very inspiring," said Mike Sheldon, assistant Scoutmaster.
Any titled marker was leveled with sand and mortar, and broken ones were repaired using an adhesive mix.
A local professional who cleans grave markers also helped.
He also conducted research with the Lutheran church and obtained a map of the cemetery.
"We have the order for the people (buried)," he said. "We found people in the wrong spot. The fence along the edge was an Eagle project a long time ago. We've been making it look a little better. We also did some landscaping."
Greenfield, 17, said Eagle projects must demonstrate leadership and communication.
"Usually, 100 hours are involved for Eagle projects, but this one has involved 200 hours, including work done by others," he said.
Greenfield joined the Scouts March 6, 2006. His Eagle project is with Troop 98, based out of Stonybrook United Methodist Church.
"I've been in Scouts since I was 10 years old," he said. "It has been an interesting trip. It taught me a lot. I've done leadership training."
He plans to attend the Ohio State University in the fall to study accounting.