Historic Cemetery Grant Awarded to Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission

Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation Awards Support for JCHLC Cemetery Restoration Project

For immediate release: May 17, 2016

Maj. Joseph O CoyleCharles Town, WV – The Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation has awarded the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission (JCHLC) a $2,500 grant to restore a historic family cemetery as part of the Foundation’s Jefferson County Historic Cemetery grant program.  The cemetery rests off of Poor Farm Road in Kearneysville, near Snow Hill Farm, a National Register of Historic Places site.  The cemetery, named the Roxley Coyle Cemetery, was researched and assessed in February as one in dire need of restorative work by JCHLC.

The small cemetery has a broader story to tell, with a deep connection to Jefferson County’s Civil War story. Located within the stone wall surrounding the site, are Coyle family members with some of the earliest headstones dating back to the turn of the 19th century.  One Coyle family member buried there is that of Joseph C. Coyle, a member of 12th Virginia Cavalry who was killed at nearby Bunker Hill in March 1864, a little more than 10 miles from his home.  The site also contains three unidentified slave graves, which JCHLC looks to identify and mark as part of the restoration process.

JCHLC will be removing all of the overgrowth and brush around the site beginning in June.  Cleanup and research on the site has already started as part of an academic internship and the Landmarks Commission aims to complete the first phase of the project by August 2016.  “The costliest aspect of phase one of the project is the removal of invasive brush and trees from the site” stated Martin Burke, chair of JCHLC. “Without the support of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, our scope of work would have been limited by our budget.   This will make phase one of the project possible.”