JACKSON TOWNSHIP — While crews prepare to make repairs caused by vandalism at London Cemetery, unrelated maintenance work is underway this month at another historic cemetery in the township — Mount Bethel.
Late last summer, Jackson Township had identified 58 foundations that needed repairing in that cemetery off of Myers Road. At their Sept. 15, 2020 meeting, Trustees Greg Vogt, Mark Wright and Mark Eshelman took action, setting into action a plan to get the foundations fixed at a cost of $6,900 at the site that also is referred to as “Myers Cemetery.”
“Restoration, straightening up monuments and repairing” that included pinning work for the old tombstones and other work, said Josh Whitaker, a supervisor at the site.
The work started around the second week of March and was finishing up the week of March 22.
Under the plan announced last summer and according to a letter to the township at the time, Longstreth Memorials planned to repair the markers and carry out other related work. That includes addressing footers, inserting markers into the foundation and providing dirt. Efforts also were to include repairing eight monuments, providing leveling with crushed gravel and resealing all pieces.
Officials noted that Longstreth is the same company that had performed the improvements at London Cemetery last summer. At that site, the township agreed to spend up to $2,000 to shore up the foundations involving 20 headstones at the cemetery, which is at Plymouth-Springmill Road and Smiley Avenue.
In February 2021, 13 gravestones were knocked off their foundations in a criminal act at London Cemetery. No one knows who is responsible. A report was filed with the Richland County Sheriff's Office, which investigated it as criminal damaging/endangering, according to a Feb. 23 sheriff's report.
On March 16, Jackson Township trustees voted 3-0 to spend $500 to get the London Cemetery repaired. Ashland Monument Company is to carry out the work to fix the tombstones there.