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Teacher, students reclaim abandoned MI cemetery

Cemetery class photo
Darrin Silvester
Darrin Silvester's Salem High School class at work.

We talk with a high school teacher whose classes have been exploring an abandoned cemetery for more than a decade.

The very point of a cemetery suggests that the dead belong to the earth, but when abandoned cemeteries succumb to the ravages of time, maybe it makes sense to dig some things up.

That’s the reasoning of one Michigan high school teacher.

Darrin Silvester’s history students have spent the past 11 years slowly unearthing an abandoned, nearly one acre cemetery in Plymouth Township not far from Ann Arbor. They’re not disinterring the dead, but they are studying and sometimes replacing gravestones and landscaping.

In the process, Mr. Silvester’s Salem High School students learn about the history of their hometown.

Current State talks with Darrin Silvester about what has been learned at the Shearer Cemetery.

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