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Russellville looks to clean-up vandalized cemeteries

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. – Vandalism is taking its toll on two historic cemeteries in Russellville. Local historians call it disheartening; people’s resting places all but destroyed.

Dating back more than 200 years, Old Town Graveyard is the first cemetery in the city of Russellville and years of vandalism is evident through-out.

“They have turned over the tall head-stones,” Chris Ozbirn described. “They broke some of them; they just tipped over and of course they break they are so old.”

As the Franklin County Historian, Ozbirn knows the cemetery better than anyone. She’s watched as its deteriorated and

Chris Ozbirn, Franklin County Historian

done her best to help preserve it.

“It is very disheartening,” stated Ozbirn.

She has gone to the Russellville City Council to get some assistance. City leaders promised to help by allowing street department workers to help maintain both Sadler Cemetery and the Old Town Graveyard.

But it’s going to take more than clean-up.

“I really believe it was young people, because I have seen with my own eyes kids riding bicycles through the cemetery,” said Ozbirn.

Ozbirn says if the police can patrol the cemetery’s regularly, it may deter more vandalism.