Scout raises, cleans Civil War headstones for Eagle Scout project

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Boy Scout Nick Larson works on cleaning a Civil war veteran’s headstone in McGregor’s Pleasant Grove Cemetery April 16. He’s raising and cleaning over a dozen headstones as part of his Eagle Scout project. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Boy Scout Nick Larson was busy at McGregor’s Pleasant Grove Cemetery April 16, raising and cleaning over a dozen Civil War veterans’ headstones for his Eagle Scout project.

“Someone brought up the idea that Bob [Eggen] needed help here, and I thought it would be a nice project for the community,” Larson said. “It’s nice to honor those who served.”

In his 35 years managing Pleasant Grove, Eggen said this was the first time he could recall the headstones being raised and cleaned.

“It takes a lot of work,” said Larson of raising the stones, many of which had sunk over a foot into the ground. “You have to dig it out, pull it out, throw rocks underneath, tamp it down, then straighten and level it.”

To clean the headstones, Larson said he and his group of volunteers were using a D/2 solution, a liquid that removes stains. It’s used on the stones at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as on the White House, he noted. Wet and Forget along with bleach were also used.

Larson said he and the group planned to finish cleaning the markers Saturday. He’ll then go around requesting donations for cement to go around the base of the headstones. He hopes to have that completed before Memorial Day.

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