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Graves and markers at historic Wilmington Cemetery are sinking

The rain is to blame

Wilmington Cemetery
Wikimedia Commons

The soil at historic Wilmington Cemetery is so damp from all the rain this winter that some graves and markers are sinking, reports the Daily Breeze.

Most of the affected graves—and there about 15 to 20—were recent burials. So far, the sinking hasn’t caused any caskets or vaults to become exposed yet, but county supervisor Janice Hahn, who visited the LA county-owned site, told the newspaper the damage is “extensive.” She promised to look into finding more funding for maintenance.

The scene is creepy-looking, but it’s quite common, especially at older cemeteries, said John Resich, chairman of the board at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes. Resich is helping with repairs at Wilmington Cemetery. “It happens,” Resich told the Breeze. “All these old, old cemeteries have the same issues. They did things differently then.”

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The 160-year-old Wilmington Cemetery was built in 1857 on land donated by prominent businessman Phinneas Banning. It is widely considered to be among the oldest cemeteries in the state. Designated a Historic-Cultural Landmark, the site contains remains of veterans of the Civil War and World War I.

The cemetery is expected to be closed for “several days,” says the Breeze, but will host a previously scheduled funeral and open to the public on Sunday as usual.