MARYLAND

Justin Stine, Eagle Scout, restores vandalized 18th-century Rockville cemetery

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An 18th-century family cemetery in Rockville is back in order thanks to the efforts of a hard working Eagle Scout.

Photo: Brad Bell/ABC7
Photo: Brad Bell/ABC7

The cemetery had been vandalized and that upset the scout so much, he did something about it.

Justin Stine, 18, a high school senior, found the old cemetery last year.

"It was actually discussed for years to have it restored, so we decided to take a hike through the woods to go find it," Stine says.

When Stine needed an Eagle Scout project, he knew exactly what to do..

"When you saw that damage and the trees everywhere and the brush everywhere, you knew if you didn't do something about it, it would be gone forever," Stine says. "On my Eagle Scout book, I totaled it up to 150 hours worth of work."

He built benches, spread mulch, installed a gate and even hung a handmade sign. But when he returned a few weeks later, he saw that someone had vandalized the cemetery.

"And when I saw the broken tombstones, I couldn't take it. It was so hard to look at," he says.

Police have no suspects. And Stine doesn't understand how anyone could do such a thing.

The cemetery is a piece of history. A farmer named John Riggs bought the property in 1751. Riggs' son Samuel's tombstone was one of the ones shattered.

The theory is an unmarked tombstone could have been that of a slave.

Stine isn't giving up. With the help of a historical cemetery group he is going to reassemble the stones.

"It's a big jigsaw puzzle, but I think it can be done," he says.

 

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