MARIETTA - Seth White, 27, of Marietta, has always been a history buff, especially when it comes to American history.
That love of the past, combined with his photography skills, landed him a gig helping his Marietta chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) create a catalog of the gravesites of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Washington County.
As part of the National Society of SAR's Graves Registration Project, the effort is intended to create a record for posterity of those who served in the Revolutionary War.
Photo by Sharon Bopp
Seth White, 27, of Marietta, is helping his Marietta chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution catalog the gravesites of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Washington County.
The information he captures includes the geographical location and a photograph of each soldier's gravesite.
"It's to respect and honor those who've come before us," White said.
This project will be especially important as time goes on and some of the more rural gravesites in the county are lost to the elements, he added.
"We want to make sure that if their stones need repaired or replaced it's done before they're lost forever," said Jean Yost, president of the Marietta SAR chapter.
Many Revolutionary War soldiers were paid in farmland in areas including Washington County.
"They came here, established a farm, died and were buried and that's all that anybody knows," said White.
"Most of the people we're coming up with are people who have been lost to time after they moved to Ohio," White said.
When the SAR chapter's local project began in 2010, staffers at the Washington County Public Library and Campus Martius Museum expected to find 100 gravesites in the county.
"We're over 100 (gravesites) already," White said. "By the time we verify all the ones we can find it'll probably be around 250."
At Marietta's Mound Cemetery, 37 Revolutionary War soldiers have been identified, said Scott Britton, a member of the Marietta SAR chapter and executive director at The Castle in Marietta.
The marked gravesites of 15 Revolutionary War veterans have been located at Old Cedarville Cemetery in Belpre.
White has served on the deck crew of commercial tow boats for more than five years, mostly running up and down the Ohio River.
He works on the river for 28 days, then has 28 days off.
"It affords me a month at a time here in Marietta to do re-enactments, or whatever strikes my fancy at the moment," he said.
White has done historical re-enactments of the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Territory for 15 years.
White also does living history impersonations. He has impersonated Marietta local Hamilton Kerr and Lewis Wetzel (for whom Wetzel County in West Virginia was named).