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The original item was published from 4/1/2021 12:11:39 PM to 4/2/2021 11:30:28 AM.

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Posted on: April 1, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Passover Babies Cemetery Restoration

photo of bench

Members of the community gathered at the Key West Historic Cemetery on Thursday to celebrate the generous volunteers who restored the group of gravesites known as the Passover and Windsor babies. They are so named because the tiny graves line the fence that runs along those two streets. There are 167 babies laid to rest along these lanes.

Over the last century these babies’ graves have fallen into disrepair. Many have no living relatives to look after the site. But with the generous donations from Angie Majors and Linda Downs, the entire sections received much-needed attention. The entire area was leveled, landscaped, and a border was installed at the bottom of the fence to keep debris and dirt off of the sites.

At the dedication ceremony two benches created and donated by local sculptor Craig Berube-Gray were unveiled.

Sexton Chris Varela and his assistant Mary Ann Matter praised the work of the artist and the outstanding dedication by the two women that led to the overhaul of these graves.

Majors explained to the gathering the impetus of choosing the effort. She noted that in January of 2020, they participated in a cemetery stroll and saw the dire need to restore the graves. She told a tale of a friend who had a child buried there. The mother had not been back to Key West in years but was coming for a short visit and intended to come to the cemetery. The idea of this woman seeing the state of the grave moved Majors and Downs to sponsor the restoration.

Gray’s beautiful custom stone benches are placed at the beginning of each section. The first is right at the main entrance to the cemetery.

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