"This cemetery is a piece of the Victorian Era frozen in time," Randy Smith the lialison for the Fairview Cemetery said.
The Fairview Cemetery in downtown Van Buren has been a final resting place for local families since 1816.
"Virtually all of the cities earliest settlers and the counties earliest settlers are all buried in this one spot," Smith said.
Which is reason enough for the cemetery to be added to the National Register of Historic Places, thanks greatly to then volunteer Randy Smith.
"I thought I was done at that point but this turned into something all together different from what I ever envisioned."
A monument representing three young girls who died in the early 1840's was destroyed in a thunderstorm,.
"When I found out that it was going to be put back together by whatever means available, a couple of nights later I literally woke up at 3 am in a sweat, and that's the truth, upset about the monument being further compromised by using the wrong methods of materials," Smith said.
Two years and two grants later, the monument stands again. It's refurbished in a way that will keep it looking like it did more than 160 years ago. It's a new process called "conservation cleaning" and it's being done to other headstones in the cemetery.
"There's a very active movement afoot to help preserve old cemeteries."
Folks from around the state are now coming to Van Buren to learn these preservation techniques, not just to protect the headstones and monuments, but to preserve the past.
"Historic markers are virtually pieces of history that cannot be replaced. If the monument is lost, destroyed what have you, then very often the story of the person goes a long with it," Smith said.