Grants to fund Aspen cemetery repairs |

Grants to fund Aspen cemetery repairs

ASPEN ” A pair of grants will help fund maintenance and restoration of the Aspen Grove Cemetery, where the first burials date back to the late 1800s and some of the town’s luminaries are laid to rest.

The State Historical Fund has provided $35,801, which the city will match. In addition, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training will provide $23,100 for scientific evaluation of the old, wooden grave markers at the site and possible repair techniques. The findings could be used in cemetery preservation efforts across the country, according to the city.

The cemetery, on Aspen’s east side off McSkimming Road, is still in use. The mining town’s first burial ground, the Ute Cemetery, was the focus of a rehabilitation project several years ago that included the mending of historic, marble tombstones. The work was recognized at the state and national level by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2005. The Ute was added to the National Register of Historic Places during the process.

The first phase of work at Aspen Grove Cemetery, where Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke ” considered the founders of modern Aspen ” are buried, will include an assessment of the property’s condition, historic research and the development of a plan to protect the cemetery and provide an educational experience for visitors. The $71,602 from the state grant and city matching funds will pay for the initial work.

Future phases will entail actual work at the site, at which time local volunteer groups and students will be invited to participate.

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