The Civil War Lot in Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington, Iowa has been completely restored, thanks to the efforts by a father and son team over the last three years.
Mike Bloomer and his son, Jace, spent the last three years cleaning all 97 headstones, restoring the 1850 canon, adding a flag pole and bench, installing a new fence, and restoring the monuments and plaques in the lot.
"All of my work that went into this was truly voluntary," said Bloomer, who is a history fanatic with a soft spot for the civil war era. "I’m estimating [I worked] anywhere from 800 to 1,000 hours over three years."
"It was actually set up for indigent soldiers," Bloomer said. "Those [whose] families didn’t have the money to spend to bury them and did not want them located in what we call a potter’s field [still] wanted to have an appropriate burial with a headstone."
Bloomer said he raised $32,000 for the restoration project and received generous donations from several people.
"This is one of those cemeteries where you get a lot of people walking trough here and numerous times I would have people walking up to me saying we appreciate what you're doing," said Bloomer.
"I thought it was fantastic," said Celia Crawford, whose relative is buried in the Civil War Lot. "I had no idea it was going to be that much, and the hard work Mr. bloomer put in it amazing."