"Because of a lot of things that have happened in our history, cemeteries like this have fallen by the wayside," Regan-Dinius said.
Preserving the Merritt plot has become a labor of love for the Lees. Lisa's brother and Jim's son Chris, a surveyor, helped map the site along with Chris' wife Heather in their initial investigation. They made a video of their research that can be viewed online at youtu.be/lipLaXIDRUw.
"The driving force for us is that all burial grounds are sacred," Jim said. "If something isn't accomplished with this project, (that history) will be forever lost. All you have to ask yourself is, ÔWhat if that were my family?'"
It's not just the Merritts who'd like the cemetery saved. That had been Prescott's intention all along with his Eagle Scout project.
"He still feels some sort of resentment for what happened," Lisa said of Prescott, who's now a U.S. Army captain living in Colorado. "They did a good thing, but their initial goal was to repair the original cemetery site. They were rejected and it upset everybody."
It's now ultimately up to Woodland Heights' homeowners association, which owns the land. Lisa says they're willing to consider renovation ideas for the cemetery, which could include a sign and having it fenced in.
"Hopefully we can work with them and make this a win-win for everybody," Regan-Dinius said. "It doesn't lower the value of their homes to have a cemetery next to them."
She doesn't foresee individual gravesites being marked, as that would take extensive and expensive archeological work. What's important is that state law now prevents anyone from building on it.
"For the family, I think that's the biggest thing - that it's protected," Regan-Dinius said.