Roses and raspberries, June 18

June 17, 2014 

Members of Boy Scout Troop 821 carry brush from the Old Town Cemetery in Hillsborough on June 7. From left are Adam Haverkost, Duncan Robertson, Eamon Coughlan and senior patrol leader John Robertson.


Roses to archaeologist Ken Ostrand, the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and a lot of volunteers who braved the heat and poison ivy June 7 to provide some needed TLC to the Old Town Cemetery in Hillsborough.

The cemetery off Churton Street, established in 1757, contains the remains of William Hooper, one North Carolina’s three signers of the Declaration of Inpdendence, and a host of other notables.

A volunteer cleanup led by Ostrand helped rediscover four headstones and several, including the tombstone of Abigail Brown who was buried in 1835. Additionally, the dry-stack slate wall surrounding the earliest marked section of the cemetery was dramatically uncovered as a group of more than a dozen Boy Scouts removed decades of overgrown vines.

The alliance is recruiting volunteers for a follow-up work day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the cemetery, located at the intersection of Churton and Tryon Streets beside the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church.

If you’d like to help, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, as well as close-toed shoes. Bring gloves, garden shears, rakes and brushes. The alliance will provide water and coffee.

Roses from Smith Middle School French teacher Robin McMahon and the NC to Normandy group to generous donors in the community.

“The students’ project of accompanying two World War II veterans to France and Belgium was fully funded thanks to your generosity and sweet notes,” McMahon writes. “Roses as well to the local media who helped us reach a wide and compassionate audience.

“Both veterans were honored at a small ceremony in Bastogne, Belgium and attended the Presidential Ceremony at the American Cemetery in Normandy with their family member. The students served as translators for the veterans as they stayed in a French family’s home.”

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