Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Local News

May 1, 2006

Cemetery gets a makeover from Cascade students

CLAYTON — Eighth-grade sculpture students from Cascade Junior High School got a chance to get out in the field for a special project at Clayton East Cemetery.

"At this point, they have done a lot of research and have learned about the people who are buried here," said art teacher Jessica Felix. "Today when they got off the bus, they were excited to find the headstones of the people they have researched. They really seem to enjoy this."

This is the second year Felix as taken members of her classes to a local cemetery to help refurbish head stones. In the past, her classes have restored the Spring Friends Cemetery in Amo and West Branch Friends Cemetery in Coatesville.

"I try to choose cemeteries that they are familiar with," Felix said. "A lot of them drive right by this one almost every day."

This year's trip was funded by the Clayton Cemetery Association. Felix said the land was deeded in 1855, but the oldest burial was Harrison Taylor in 1836.

Through her research, Felix has discovered that there are 140 people buried in the cemetery and that many of them are marked as unknown graves. She said there are at least 22 veterans from The War of 1812, the Civil War, World War II, and the Korean War buried in the cemetery.

The students were separated into groups and assigned individuals or families to research, Felix said. They used online resources such as Ancestry.com where they could look at original census images and access family trees.

On the day of the field trip, students were responsible for restoring the gravestones of the people they researched, she said. They used diluted ammonia and a drill fitted with a nylon wheel to clean the stones.

"We have to be very gentle when cleaning the stone," Felix said. "We also have several stones that are broken that we will use epoxy to fix."

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