01 May 2010

Kavanaugh Chapel, God, Faith & Community Restored

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber 2010

Several weeks ago I reported the horrible vandalism of Kavanaugh Chapel Cemetery in rural Boyd County, Kentucky. Today I witnessed the faith of God and the love of community, as all came together to restore our counties loved ones graves.

Driving down US #23 everyone could see the jumble of parked cars that filled the church parking lot, overflowed to the adjoining farm and lined the railroad tracks. Every inch of the cemetery was covered with individuals working on hand and knees to repair the damage caused several weeks ago.

As I stopped to chat with jailer, Joe Burchett, I noticed another miracle. Unlike the morning after the incident was discovered, today everyone was smiling, full of love and uplifted.

As we took people's hands we heard the stories. All wanted to commend others f
or the volunteer work they had done. I quickly grabbed a pad and pencil and know that I have still left many individuals out who donated many hours to see this restoration through to the end. Among the groups that participated were Carpenters #472, the Steel Workers #1865, the Iron Workers #769, Marathon Oil, The Boyd County Detention Center, The Boyd County Cemetery Board, and the Louisa Methodist Church.

s from the church from children to elders were working side by side with inmates. The church handed out water and even ice cream cones to relieve the workers throughout the morning and afternoon. As tombstones were repaired teens were lovingly brushing away soil and moss from each stone. 

Lou Dunn, shovel in hand, stated his relationship with the Hattons and Turman's. Mr. Cox reminisced about the time a tombstone fell and broke his leg, pointing out the exact stone and then saying that all his family was laid to rest in Kavanaugh Chapel.

Another lady, like myself, expressed how different the atmosphere was today from just a short time ago. If the vandals thought they could destroy faith, they did not. In fact just as Jean Preece had predicted our community came together. My heart soared to see the monuments standing tall once again.


  1. Yes, I was there. It was wonderful to see the Lord work this way. None of us would have been brought together today in any other way. I was Joe Burchett. We graduated from high school together 40 years ago and had not seen each other since. I had not seen Brenda Huffman in 4 years. All the inmates did a wonderful thing today. Thank you Jesus, we saw you at work today. Great things can come from such a terrible act. Thx Teresa for this blog.

  2. I saw Joe Burchett. (correction)

  3. I stopped with Steve and Shawna, my daughter, this afternoon on our way to Ashland to check on Benjamin F. Lambert's marker [one of my 14th KY Veterans] and see if his grave was ok [which appeared undamaged and in good shape]. We had the pleasure of meeting Jean Preece and the gentleman with the red shirt and his daughter, all very helpful and kind. I have to say, the cemetery and the stones look beautiful. The volunteers have done an outstanding job. Not much remains of the damage which is a miracle in itself. I also found that George Archer is buried here which I had never noticed before. And I was told about Lou Dunn who had left already but who I have to meet and talk to.
    We had a great visit and are happy that so many people cared enough to get involved with the repairs.