Century-old Oslo Cemetery needs help to get new life

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Walking through the open gate of Oslo Cemetery is like taking a step back in time.

The headstones here date back to the early 1900s.

There are three men buried here who served as soldiers with the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Time has not always been kind to this small cemetery.

"It was an eyesore, then when this lady started fixing it up, it was so beautiful," says Lorraine Roberts, who has lived next to the cemetery for 33 years.  "We just felt really good about it and then it started going downhill again."

A woman who now lives in Georgia owns the property.

Jane Gregory told our partners at Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers she spent about $50,000 to put up a fence and install a sprinkler system, but vandals broke headstones and litterbugs dumped trash.

After columnist Russ Lemmon first wrote about the cemetery in February a group of volunteers came out to clean it up.

They left a pile of brush to be collected by the county, but it was never picked up.

Roberts says someone added bags of trash to the pile last week.

"When I saw all that brush being left here, it's been there for three months," says Roberts.  "I said, 'I'm going to write to Russ again and see what we can do."

Crews from a Vero Beach funeral home volunteered to help.

They cut the grass on Wednesday and will return for the trash Thursday.

Roberts would like to see the cemetery cleaned on a regular basis.

"These people deserve to be honored," she says.  "They've been there a long, long time and we just decided that we'd try to do something about it."

The property owner welcomes any help from the community.  You can reach her at dimanges@gate.net.

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