Walnut Grove

IT’S something new for something old.

Creation of an online interactive map of Walnut Grove Cemetery, Martins Ferry’s oldest landmark, will make the historic spot more appealing to visitors interested in the past. The cemetery dates from 1795.

Not only is the mapping new for Walnut Grove, but it’s the first time that a project of this kind has been undertaken by the Rural Community Assistance Program.

Joseph Lawrie, utility mapping technician for RCAP, plans to survey the 35 graves and produce a database with pictures of headstones and points of interests and information about the deceased. He is to produce a technical map, a creative map for visitors and interactive map online.

THIS is a major step regarding the cemetery, which has benefited from the work of many organizations, businesses and individuals not only from Martins Ferry but from nearby areas.

A notable project in recent years was the construction of a wrought iron fence to replace the crumbling brick wall whose deterioration had created problems for many, many decades. Not only did the Martins Ferry Rotary Club, which no longer exists, have the wrought iron fence constructed, but the club had two benches installed and two pillars built at the fence.

Major improvements occurred in the 1980s when the Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable decided to clean up the cemetery after reading a story in The Times Leader about weeds, trash and damages to the Civil War cannon and broken tombstones. The cannon barrel had been pulled or pushed from its platform and been mired in the mud with the tip of the barrel shoved in the mud.

In addition to repairing the grave markers and working on the problems besetting the site, the Roundtable had a drive to raise funds so a replica of the proper type of carriage could be placed on the Confederate Napoleon cannon, which had been used by Southern forces at the Battle of Lookout Mountain.

The Roundtable also added old-type headstones to honor 20 Civil War soldiers buried in the cemetery.

THOSE are only some of the advancements in the landmark, which can become better known through the upcoming project.