Grave at Walnut Grove

A headstone in Walnut Grove Cemetery looks bright and neat after Charlie Barnette's cleaning. Barnette volunteers to repair headstones at hundreds of cemeteries, and he will host a live demonstration on June 8 so families can take care of the graves of their loved ones.

Memorial Day gives families a chance to honor lost loved ones, and the Historical Society of Washington County wants to demonstrate how anyone can care for the grave markers of someone they love.

The historical society will provide a free demonstration of proper maintenance of cemetery headstones at Abingdon’s Sinking Spring Cemetery on June 8. Charlie Barnette, who has volunteered endless hours to cleaning, repairing and trimming final resting places, will offer his 11 years of experience in proper repair techniques.

“People with good intentions can still cause a lot of damage to a tombstone,” Barnette said. “It’s really simple. You just need to know what you’re doing and use the right equipment.”

Proper maintenance only takes a few minutes, Barnette said, and it is a good chance to help teach younger generations how to pay their respects.

The Sinking Spring Cemetery is located just behind the historical society’s new facility at Main Street and Russell Road in downtown Abingdon. The demonstration will start at 10 a.m. just west of the Cummings cabin in the cemetery. No reservations are necessary.

For more information, contact the society at 276-623-8337.

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