Wednesday, October 26, 2016

'Hard hat' tour: Petersburg will update visitors on Poplar Grove National cemetery work

Lodge walls now are violet, as they were back in 1872 (NPS)

The cemetery lodge is receiving new flooring on the first floor. Work continues on the brick wall and the base of the rostrum. Trees and grass are being planted, and the new flag pole is about ready.

And, if you register by 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday (Oct. 27.), you can participate in a two-hour guided walk Saturday and see many of the 5,000 new headstones that have been put in place so far in Poplar Grove National Cemetery at Petersburg National Battlefield.

Park ranger Betsy Dinger will conduct the two-hour “hard hat” tour at 10 a.m. this Saturday.

To make a reservation, contact Dinger at (804) 732-3531 ext. 208 or by the deadline. Parking is available at Fort Wadsworth, located by the intersection of Halifax and Flank Roads in Petersburg.

About 6,100 Federal soldiers are buried at Poplar Grove, which has been closed since November 2015 for a major rehabilitation. The biggest project has been the replacement of all headstones, which since the 1930s had been flat on the ground. 

The park also is addressing drainage issues across the 9-acre site. Officials hope work is wrapped up this December.

The public will be invited to a rededication ceremony on April 29, 2017, Dinger said.

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