A historic cleanup at Oakland Cemetery

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On April 14 at Oakland Cemetery, located at 1569 Broad St., approximately 75 people joined to Celebrate RI House Resolution #7203 designating April 14 across the state as Historic Cemetery Restoration and Awareness Day. The Cranston Historic Cemetery Commission sponsored the event and the Cranston Historical Society worked to document historic graves.

The weather provided sunshine and a cool working temperature.

The morning began with Mayor Allan Fung giving the greetings from the City of Cranston along with Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea. 

The City provided two 30 yd. dumpsters toward the effort.  

After greetings, volunteers spread out across the historic cemetery with rakes, clippers, lawn bags, and other tools needed to spruce up the Oakland Cemetery under the direction of Jan Ragno, Vice Chair of the Cranston Historic Cemetery Commission.

Concerned citizens not only from Cranston, but other surrounding towns including Boy Scout Troop 8, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church Men's Club, students from CCRI, RIC, and staff members from Carpenter Jencks Funeral Home, joined in.

The oldest part of the cemetery dates back to the 1700s. The day also included demonstrations on restoring a headstone, including the proper procedure to reset a headstone.

For more information on how you can get involved with the Cranston Historic Cemetery Commission, contact Colin E. Parkhurst at 440-1000 or Jan Ragno at 573-6261.

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