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City to Recognize Local Student for Potter’s Field Cemetery Restoration
Salisbury – Mayor Jake Day is pleased to announce the public presentation of the recently restored Potter’s Field Cemetery on Commerce St. in Salisbury. A ceremony recognizing the work of Salisbury student Ben Smith who spearheaded the effort will be held on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at the cemetery, located behind the Arby’s.
The name “Potter’s Field” is thought to be Biblical in origin. Meaning “common field,” the term has been used to refer to burial sites for less-fortunate or forgotten people. While Salisbury’s Potter’s Field might not have been completely forgotten, it has been neglected over the past decades. Dating back to the Civil War era, the field became the final resting place for many Union soldiers, and some of the slaves who worked at Poplar Hill Mansion in the 19th Century.
An extensive revitalization project was undertaken by Salisbury native Ben Smith, a freshman at Salisbury Christian School, as his Eagle Scout project. After seeing the condition of the cemetery, Ben was determined to make a difference by restoring it to its former beauty. Revitalizing Potter’s Field required a great deal of hard work and dedication, and took months to complete. After fundraising to buy the necessary materials, Ben had to clean and repair gravestones which had deteriorated over time, map and catalog the site, and fill in graves which had settled over the years.
“Ben’s act of servant leadership is truly commendable,” said Mayor Day. “He represents our next generation of leaders, and the future is bright. Through his service to our community, Ben has set an example not just for Salisbury’s youth, but for all of us who serve the community in any capacity. Thanks to the heart and dedication of one student, this important piece of our City’s heritage now looks better than it has in recent memory. It is now our mission to ensure that it remains in a condition worthy of its hallowed history, and is preserved for future generations.”
Citizens and members of the press are encouraged to join the Mayor in recognizing Ben’s hard work. For more information, contact the Mayor’s office at 410-548-3100.