Founded in the early 1850s, Pickerington's historic Pisgah Cemetery serves as a final resting place for many of the area's earliest inhabitants as well as a tangible link to a rich agrarian past.
Many people driving by the cemetery, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of state Routes 256 and 204, are likely to notice a brand new white picket fence marking its borders.
The vinyl fencing, installed in February, comes courtesy, in large part, from the developers of the adjacent Hunter's Ridge Shopping Center.
The idea for a white fence recently originated with Pickerington Mayor Lee Gray, who thought a fence would both beautify and protect the boundaries of the cemetery, said Bill Vance, city manager.
After Hunter's Ridge Shopping Center broke ground in 2013, Lee's vision was expedited when Tom Brigdon, the center's representative, contacted the city about solidifying its fence plans, Vance said.
Brigdon recommended an "open-air fence."
City employees agreed to install the open-air fence preferred by Hunter's Ridge, contingent on the developer agreeing to cover $10,000 of the $14,000 necessary for installation, he said.
"The developers agreed and the new cemetery fence was installed," Vance said.
Pickerington Parks and Recreation Director Becca Medinger and Services Director Ed Drobina supervised the fence installation, Vance said.
Vance said the city of Pickerington is thankful to Brigdon and the Hunter's Ridge Shopping Center for the generous donation.
"Pickerington officials and employees appreciate the opportunity to investigate local and regional partnerships that could promote the realization of mutually beneficial goals," Vance said.
"I believe the fence does fit in nicely at the beginning of Pickerington's (state Route) 256 corridor as it beautifies this particular area of the city while somewhat separating and protecting historic Pisgah Cemetery from the busy commercial roadways which have developed around it," Vance said.
Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society President Peggy Portier said the new fence is a fitting tribute to the landmark cemetery and those buried there.
"It's one of our older cemeteries; there hasn't been a burial there in 20 years," Portier said.
"We're glad they added the fence, and it's a nice addition to that development," Portier said.
"I think they did a good job and the fence really sets it off."
Vinyl is the appropriate material for the fence because it costs substantially less to maintain than natural wood, Portier said.
"Two years from now, they won't have to paint it," she said.
Workers also moved the metal "Pisgah Cemetery" archway to create "more of an entrance to the parking area," she said.
"It's really coming together. Hopefully it will look nice for years to come.