17. March 2018 - 8:00
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Union Asbury Cemetery Restoration Phase 1 | Saturday, 17. March 2018

Union Asbury Cemetery (UAC) is a massive burial ground for 100’s of Crisfielders that is in severe despair. In addition to the overgrowth, there is an unknown amount of open graves, fallen headstones and at least one casket that has risen to ground level.

The UAC has dozens upon dozens of U.S. Veterans dating back as far back as the Civil War. One grave, that is marked, is that of Preston Jewett. He served in 30th United States Colored Infantry Company B during the Civil War. His stone is pictured in the event photo, under it is a photo of an unidentified soldier who also served in the MD Colored Infantry and shows how Spencer Jewett would’ve been outfitted for the war.

The cover photo also shows a group of shuckers standing on an oyster pile in Crisfield. Some of these people were certainly laid to rest at UAC. The cover photo also shows an open grave, how many of these there are have yet to be determined.

Another grave at UAC is that of Dr. Winter Barkley. At the time of his death in 1946, he was the only African-American doctor in Somerset County, MD, and it’s likely he was one of the first.

The cemetery is filled with people who each played a role in the shaping of Crisfield’s story. Watermen, business owners, seafood workers. Their eternal resting place deserves to be preserved.

Phase 1 will focus on the oldest section that dates to the 1880's, and is in the most desperate condition. Prior to the restoration I will create trails and mark the graves that are covered so it’s safe for volunteers to work.

Phase 1 itself is an extensive project and will require a significant amount of planning, prep work and expenses, so donations of any amount would be greatly appreciated. We are partnering with the Friends of Crisfield, who has 501c3 status, so donations with this project will be tax deductible.

More details will be forthcoming. Please reply if you can volunteer, donate or help in any way possible. Thanks for your support.
  • IMPORTANT: I'm working on a total count on who's coming next Saturday (Sunday is the rain date). We need to buy food, waters and other supplies. PLEASE comment to this post if you're coming and/or if you're still recruiting. Thank you. Joe Paden Billie Chandler David Green Sue Merkel Bonnie Vass Deidre Potter Harris Eric B. Roland Lamont Potter Rachel Horsey Egolf
  • We have some big news and good things coming over the next week. Form a team to represent a family/group or volunteer just yourself. And PLEASE, no matter the amount, please donate! We need everybody to become a part of this special event! Joe Paden w/ FRIENDS OF CRISFIELD, Billie Chandler, David Green, Sue Merkel, Howard Brinkley, Irene Zowniriw Zhovnir Bricker Project Committee & Special Volunteers: Bonnie Vass, Elmer Barkley, Deidre Potter Harris,Pati Aswell, Viv Bradshaw
  • Check this out... Veteran's graves with open vaults. Casket sitting on top of the ground. Help us fix this place. We need 10 teams up to 12 members each on Sat. March 17th. GET COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS!!! We have 3 have teams so far, they are: Team CHS (Mr. Austin/History), Team Pocomoke Indian Nation, Team Skidder (Egolf/Horsey Family). We need 7 more teams + individual volunteers! We also need donations. Please, any amount will help. To donate, visit: gofundme.com/union-asbury-cemetery-restoration -Joe Paden
  • Please Like & Share! Let's make this place, and this project, something our community can be proud of!
  • These photos are of the detailed finalized budget. Thanks to Brad Phillips for his donation of $100 $ & Viv Bradshaw for contributing $15 and Tammy Ernst-Doda for $10. This brings the total raised to $418 out of the $10,450 goal which will fund everything from walking paths, access bridges and signage. Please visit the gofundme link below which was setup by the nonprofit, FRIENDS OF CRISFIELD, who is handling the donations and help us make this cemetery something our community can be proud of.
  • BIG NEWS!!! Budget is done & everything is setup for FRIENDS OF CRISFIELD to receive all donations, which means it's tax deductible, here's the go fundme page, so kick in a dollar or 2. Billie Chandler & myself were interviewed by the The Delmarva Daily Times today & after that I was interviewed by WBOC TV 16 Delmarva's News Leader which will be aired tonight at 6pm. I'll post detailed budget later tonight. Time to make things happen! - Joe Paden
  • PLEASE READ: I now have all data needed to finish the budget but I need your help to continue. Thanks to Lynne Hastings for her donation of $25, Terry Howard for donating $10 which brings the total raised to $293. This helps so much but working on this project full time all last week and will take this week to finish what's needed to submit for grants & large donations, it would help a lot to get some more support. Even a $5 donation will help. Donations can be made through Paypal send to: TheCrisfieldStoryProject@gmail.com. Thank you.
  • FINAL RESTORATION SITE PLAN! I had a meeting w/ Asbury Church officials today & they were VERY cooperative & are allowing bridges to be built to access from their cemetery. This will help SOOO much with getting volunteers & material in but bridges need to be built & paths created prior to March 17. A lot work needs to be done but having a definitive plan is VERY important. These bridges will also allow family members to visit the graves in the future. :) :) :)
  • Volunteer Information. I hoping to have 12 teams consisting of 12 volunteers each. ATVs & Bobcat machines needed as well. I want to thank the following people for donating: Vicki Conner-$50, Cynthia Sterling-$35, Billie Chandler-$20, Unknown-$13, Michelle Pruitt-$5. This gives a total of $258.00 in personal donations to date. I have put 150hrs into this project so far and working on this everyday so PLEASE donate to help me keep going. Donations accepted through Paypal, send to TheCrisfieldStoryProject@gmail.com. I should have a total budget completed within the next 3 days and can submit to major donors. Thank you. Joe Paden
  • Do you all know about the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites? They have great resources and some funding. Or you can contact Preservation Maryland for assistance and information about their grants: http://www.preservationmaryland.org/programs/heritage-fund-grants/.
  • Two things: I had 107 fb msgs/notifications this morning offering suggestions, asking who's fault, where's it at, etc. I can't answer these, don't have time. Sorry. Second... I WANT TO THANK THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE FOR DONATING: Charles Hall-$50, Agape Health & Beauty by Dee-$50, Colleen Taylor-$25, Karen Thomas-$10. This will help me to continue to to estimate, plan, and make the area safe for when volunteers come. Thank you & God bless you. If anyone wants to help with making a donation, you can do it on paypal, the email to donate to is: TheCrisfieldStoryProject@gmail.com
  • Joe, to whom do I write the check? & where do I mail it? Let me know ASAP>
  • Joe, maybe if you reached out to the media; WBOC.. ? Just a thought
  • I've received a few msgs from people apologizing because they don't have the money to donate. Please don't feel bad & my posts were not intended to make anyone feel guilty. I want to share the backstory behind this. I started reaching out to people over a year ago, people who have money and I explained to them that this will take major financial support beyond what any individual or local community group is capable of. To get any major donors to even consider funding this project, I have to produce a budget, a detailed scope of work and what the results of their funding will be. Now, I want everyone to understand, this project isn't just cutting some trees and clearing brush. There are well over 500 graves in this cemetery, many are open holes that are covered with sticks and leaves so if someone falls into one of these, it could result in serious injury or even death. So what I've been doing is locating these covered graves, getting a total count on all of them, and inspecting/documenting what it's going to take to save each grave. Then I have to estimate the cost. In addition to the graves there is a severe drainage problem causing large bodies of water to form. So not only do I have to count the graves and calculate what it will take to restore them, I have to estimate how much fill dirt is needed, the elevation so it drains in the future, and how to transport several dozen dump truck loads of fill dirt to where it's needed (the cemetery isn't accessible by truck, I can't have volunteers carrying 500 loads in a wheelbarrel 300+ feet). My point is, there are a lot of logistics with this project. So, back to the money people I reached out to... I explained to them that it would take hundreds of hours for me to compile what is needed to get major funding (scope of work/budget/results) and they said they'd donate when I began this project so I could do what was needed to get major funding. When I reached out to them that I was going to begin, I got no response. This is the reason Ive been frantic trying to raise money. I thought about waiting until I got other sources but there is a small window when this can be done, which is March-May. After that the bugs and thorns make it impossible. I've been keeping a close eye on this cemetery for that last 2 years and I don't think it will last another year. So no matter what, I have to stay committed no matter if I get any financial support or not. I've gotten used to peanut butter crackers lately and can live off them for the next few months. ;) If you can afford to donate, please do. If you can't, I understand.
  • Thank you Karen Thomas for your $10.00 donation! YOU ARE THE FIRST!!! Thanks again & God Bless you! If anyone would like to join her, you can donate on paypal using the email: TheCrisfieldStoryProject@gmail.com Thanks again Karen!
  • Wow, I've received a total of $0.00 so far in donations. I've put out a lot time & expense, & now I need to replace my chainsaw, get blades, fuel, etc so my son & I can start clearing paths tomorrow. This is a lot of work & is something that needs to be done no matter if it's your family or not, we're a community. Come on Crisfield. 😥
  • Your help is needed, please donate. This is so sad. 😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥
  • Please read photo description. This can't be done without your help.
  • Watch this. Video speaks for itself.
  • What supplys are needed? Tools?
  • Restoration Map. I think this puts into perspective just how big this cemetery is. I’ve made several trips back there, planning the scope of work & execution, material/supply list & compiling budget. This is, and will continue to take a significant amount of time. Right now I am doing this at my own expense and if anyone feels compelled to donate, even if it’s only $5, $10, $20, it would greatly help and be extremely appreciated. The email for my paypal account is: TheCrisfieldStoryProject@gmail.com, you can donate there. A video showing the condition is forthcoming. Thanks for your support.
  • What time do we meet there? I would like to attend.
  • For some reason I don’t get the option going, just interested. We are going.
  • Count me in!!!