MARTINSVILLE, Va. — The city of Martinsville has completed a years-long effort to restore a historic African-American cemetery.

The Martinsville Bulletin reports People’s Cemetery was established in 1918 for black residents of Martinsville and Henry County. For years, it had been overgrown, with tombstones damaged and weeds covering some of the graves.

The local sheriff organized groups of inmates to cut the weeds and do repair work, and donors chipped in for a new sign at the entrance.

A ceremony unveiling the sign and celebrating the restoration effort was held last week.

Around 430 people are buried in the cemetery, including 75 people with military service records who served in conflicts ranging from World War I to Vietnam.

Information from: Martinsville Bulletin,

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