The historical burial grounds near New Albany's Village Hall looks like a cemetery again.
Instead of monuments leaned against trees, the white stones stand in neat rows across a field of green.
Forty-eight monuments have been restored and returned to the cemetery, said Nancy Ferguson, former mayor and member of the Cemetery Restoration Advisory Board.
"It looks very respectful of the people who are buried there," she said.
Six missing monuments will be reproduced and added to the cemetery, and another six will be repaired, Ferguson said.
The headstone restoration cost the city $17,000 and was performed by Gravestone Transformations, said New Albany public-services director Mark Nemec.
The work is part of a restoration effort for the cemetery, known as the Old Burying Ground. The cemetery dates to the 1850s and is southeast of Village Hall on the edge of Rose Run. Several of the area's first residents are believed to be buried there.
Many of the monuments memorialize New Albany's earliest community members, Ferguson said. Noble Landon and William Yantis, the community's two founders, are buried there, along with their wives and children.
The Old Burying Ground first was used in 1854 and 1855, she said.
When what eventually became known as Maplewood Cemetery was built in 1881 off Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, 58 people were reinterred from the New Albany cemetery to Maplewood, Ferguson said.
Some gravestones were broken when a neighbor in 1978 bulldozed the cemetery after concerns about how the neglected land would affect the value of his property, Ferguson said.
Many of the markers still were in the vicinity of the cemetery, but many that weren't buried were laid near trees and no longer marked actual burial sites.
The cemetery restoration began in 2016, when Columbus-based Ohio Valley Archaeology did a minor excavation to the cemetery and found headstones beneath the ground's surface.
After the 12 headstones that Ferguson mentioned are added to the cemetery, any future improvements there will have to be done in concert with the second phase of the city's Rose Run project, said City Manager Joe Stefanov.
City Council members have discussed purchasing a historic marker for the site and doing landscaping there.
Phase 2 of Rose Run improvements, which Stefanov said aren't yet scheduled, would follow the construction of a pedestrian bridge and other revitalization efforts to the Rose Run corridor associated with the project's first phase, which is expected to be finished in about a year.
The cemetery is in the middle of the area targeted for the project's second phase, so it would be a key component for the project, Stefanov said.
Advisory board chairman Brian Zets said he's proud of the work committee members have put into the restoration thus far.
"We devoted a lot of time and attention to restoring the cemetery to its current condition," he said.