W.Va. County Hopes to Save Historic Cemeteries

By: West Virginia AP Email
By: West Virginia AP Email

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) -- One West Virginia county has lost several historic cemeteries to a combination of development pressure and lack of documentation that they existed.

Now the Berkeley County Landmarks Commission is trying to compile a list of cemeteries it wants to protect.

President Todd Funkhouser tells The Journal (http://bit.ly/YlVlZ8) that if a cemetery isn't on the National Register of Historic Places, the state of West Virginia doesn't know it exists.

And if it's unregistered, he says, there's no obligation to protect it.

That's how several have been lost.

Funkhouser says the commission has identified 10 previously unknown cemeteries, so its list currently stands at 70.

In April, he'll meet with archeologists to start registering them.

Some of their unique features include wooden headstones, zinc monuments and coffins with windows.

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