With the city's Bicentennial celebration in 2015 fast approaching, Pickerington officials are hoping one of the area's most historic cemeteries gets a much needed facelift.
Dovel Memorial Cemetery off East Columbus Street is the final resting place for some of Pickerington's oldest and most prominent families, with names like Ricketts, Dovel and Pickering displayed on headstones in the seven-acre tract behind the historic church of the same name.
In fact, Dovel Cemetery is where the city's namesake, Abraham Pickering, is buried.
The cemetery, maintained by the city of Pickerington, is in relatively poor shape, with numerous headstones broken apart and strewn about the grounds.
Near the center of the burial grounds, over a half-dozen unidentified headstones lay in a pile, marked by a small American flag.
June 3, Pickerington City Council voted 5-1 to pass legislation appropriating $30,000 to repair the monuments in Dovel Memorial Cemetery.
Councilwoman Cristie Hammond said the repairs are long overdue and necessary in order to pay proper tribute to the city's founders.
"Some of the monuments have lost parts and things are not in such good shape. (City Manager) Bill Vance talked to some contractors about prices to reset some of the headstones and to fix them up because we didn't want it left in that condition, that's why (City Council) appropriated (the funds)," Hammond said.
"A lot of headstones are not upright, they will put those upright again," she said.
"The fancy parts on top (of the headstones) have come off and there is a method to reset those," Hammond said.
As for the various unidentified headstones lying in a heap, Hammond said it will take some legwork to ascertain their appropriate locations.
"Whoever mowed the lawn in the past piled up headstones under a tree, some effort was made to get those back where they belong but there is not a lot of paperwork on that cemetery," she said.
Dovel Cemetery is adjacent to the much larger Violet Cemetery, which is privately maintained.
The city, with the help of private donations, recently installed white vinyl fence around Pisgah Cemetery off state Route 256, however, such work is not yet contemplated for the Dovel improvements.
"We are not going to (install fence); that's not part of the appropriation," Hammond said.
"We could look into that in the future," she said.