What was once the picture of neglect and financial woes, there is a feeling of cautious optimism now surrounding Hannibal's historic Riverside Cemetery.
Family members with relatives buried at the Riverside Cemetery have long complained over its lack of maintenance. A new mower with interest in the cemetery is bringing back hope for change.
Riverside Cemetery is located along State Highway 79 south of Bluff Road.
Neil Anderson, won the job during a bidding process last week. He'll mow the cemetery once a month at a price of $600.
Between April and October, Anderson will mow the cemetery. Included in the deal is two mowings in April and May to keep grass as low as possible after wet weather allows it to grow faster. The extra mowings come at a cost of $350 each, which Board President Peter Danielsons and board member Marilyn Ragan Bowers offered to cover.
"There's a lot of history from Hannibal's ancestry up here," Hannibal native Max Capp said.
Click here to view several notable people buried in Riverside Cemetery including Jake Beckley, a pro baseball player with ties to Hannibal who died in 1918.
From senators and congressman to civil war soldiers, walking around Riverside Cemetery, you're bound to find a familiar name.
"Mr. Cruikshank himself is here with the Rockcliffe Mansion," Capp said.
Capp took interest in this cemetery after researching his family's past. It was here he found to his surprise his great-great grandparents are buried, a plot overshadowed by grass, weeds and fallen trees. Capp's looking to change that.
"Hopefully, the public will see a change in the cemetery. It'll look a lot nicer. For those of us that have family up here. I think it's going to be a positive impact this year," Capp said.
Capp would also like to see graves restored, some that have fallen in, broken and become so aged you can barely read the inscription. But that, too, is too costly for the board to take on without help from others.
"There's an abandoned house on the property we're looking to get removed, but that's going to be expensive to take it down. Hopefully with some donations for the cemetery, we can get that taken care of," Capp said.
"We have families with new burials here, so it's really important to them when they burry their new family members that we take care of it for them," Capp said.