Volunteers are working to honor veterans in Blair County, but they need more help to get the project done.
The Soldiers and Sailors Restoration group was started by three people who wanted to honor Blair County Civil War Veterans by replacing tombstones and fixing the memorial in Fairview Cemetery in Altoona.
The group has already replaced 13 of the inner circle of tombstones, spending over $1,400 on the work. All of the money came from the group, their friends and family members.
“This whole cemetery actually has 597 Civil War soldiers buried here,” said group President Sharon McClellan.
McClellan said they expect some new stones to come in in the next six weeks to replace the 46 stones in the outer circle. She said the expected cost is around $3,000, no including renting equipment to power wash the mold off the memorial.
McClellan said the stone desperately needed to be replaced, pointing out some that are broken and others that are unreadable. She said they would also like to put a stone wall up, as well as eventually replace the fence that once stood around the inner circle of tombstones in the 1800’s.
“A lot of people don’t realize that, and a lot of people don’t realize that this monument is up here or they don’t realize that this area even exists,” she said.
The group hopes to finish the project by Memorial Day so they can hold a service in the cemetery like they used to. McClellan said the last proper service was held in the 1940’s.