Volunteers restore Harlem Heights cemetery

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Three years after stumbling across a forgotten cemetery, the Mountain State Trail Alliance finishes a project aimed at restoring the property.

Trail developers first found the cemetery near the Harlem Heights area of Oak Hill in 2017. On the site are at least 16 graves from the 1950s and 1960s, including those of coal miners, factory workers and veterans.

Volunteers worked to put up fencing, clean the site and install a historical exhibit to restore the property.

“Cemeteries are an important part of our history,” said project manager Billy Strasser. “Everyone knows the importance of preserving cemeteries, but beyond that, there are veterans that are buried there and a lot of other local people who have interesting stories to tell.”

Right now, it’s difficult to get to the cemetery, but volunteers are working to establish a trail for future visitors.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.