Fairmont City Cemetery in need of major repairs

Published: Sep. 13, 2019 at 5:27 PM EDT
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Gena Wagaman has been trying to clean up Fairmont City Cemetery for years. She discovered it thanks to a news article.

"There had been a news story about them finding a cemetery by the park, it took me three trips to find it," Wagaman said

Once she found the cemetery, Wagaman soon discovered that a majority of the headstones belonged to irish immigrants.

After doing some extensive research, wagaman was able to get a grant approved by West Virginia University (WVU) to help clean up the neglected graveyard.

"We got a $19000 dollar grant to transport students from WVU to here, to clear the brush, recover the stones, set the stones up if they could," said Wagaman of the early 2000's project

And while there was progress made, Wagaman was soon pulled away from the project in order to manage the near by Woodlawn cemetery.

It was then that Wagaman says the project fell to the wayside.

"This project didn't have anybody behind it, any driving force, any kind of organization," said Wagaman "So the cemetery became overgrown again,"

But now Wagaman believes with enough support they can bring the graveyard back to life.

"We need bodies, we need money, we need herbicide... anything I can get,"

Since the cemetery is technically owned by the city, Wagaman hopes to collaborate with the new city manager on a plan going forward.

We reached out to city manager, Valerie Means, who's secretary told us they look forward to finding a way to collaborate on the monumental undertaking of fixing Fairmont City cemetery.

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