Volunteers work thousands of hours to uncover history at local cemeteries

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TOLEDO (WTVG) - May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There's an event in Toledo later this week to honor people who lived at the old Toledo State Hospital.

About two thousand people are buried at two cemeteries that are connected to the hospital. A memorial service is held every year. Each year a special group of patients is honored. This year African-American history at the hospital will be celebrated.

About 900 people were buried in numbered graves at the older cemetery near Bowsher High School between 1888-1922. Nearly 1,110 were buried in the newer cemetery on the Health Science Campus of UT from 1922-1972.

Over the years the grave sites became overgrown and the numbered markers began to sink. Many of the stories of the patients were forgotten too. A small number of volunteers began uncovering the markers and the stories in 2005.

The Memorial Program is Saturday morning at 11. It is free and open to the public. It will be held at the older of the two cemeteries which is on Arlington Avenue just west of Bowsher High School