The Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society hosted a clean-up of the Bluemont Cemetery on Saturday, April 9, 2022. The project was led by Megan Nielson, the current 2021-2022 Preserve WV AmeriCorps member. Each AmeriCorps member is required to complete two civic service projects in the community that they are serving. Ms. Nielson was born and raised in Grafton, West Virginia, and wanted to find a way to bring pride to her hometown, especially before Memorial Day.
Assisted by the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society, Taylor County Corrections, and Leer Mine, Ms. Nielson and those who volunteered picked up any trash and tree limbs that littered the property. Ms. Nielson felt this project was important because of the depth of historical graves that are located in this cemetery. You can find the husband and a son of Anna Jarvis, the woman who established Mother’s Day, and the man who reportedly did the autopsy on John Wilkes Booth. It is also believed that there are individuals who died in the Buffalo Creek disaster buried here.
The history that surrounds Bluemont Cemetery is vital to the pride of Grafton, West Virginia. The cemetery itself was donated by a Mr. Blue. Grafton, West Virginia has a rich history that is consolidated within this one cemetery, including an African American woman who endured Jim Crow, but had her forgiveness etched onto her grave for all to see and know her story.
Despite the cold weather during the clean-up, it was successful thanks to the hard work of the Taylor County Corrections volunteers and the dedication of the members of the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society. In the coming months of the 2021-2022 term, Ms. Nielson is excited to begin work on her second Civic Service Project and figure out how she can effectively serve the residents of Grafton.
Megan Nielson is the Preserve WV AmeriCorps member serving with the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society during the 2021-22 program year.
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