BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Two youngsters with keen eyes are helping preserve a piece of history in Niagara Falls.
It's hard to picture two young boys spending their free time at a cemetery, but that's exactly where you'll find 11 year old Brendan Kratts and 13 year old Jason Hake these days.
The two young boys from Niagara Falls recently made quite the discovery while working on a group project at the Oakwood Cemetery.
Jason Hake said, "We found a little bit, probably not more than that of a stone."
"There were leaves on it so we thought that it might be a grave. And we couldn't really see a lot of it, all we could see was stone," added Brendan Kratts.
Hake added, "We started tearing it up with nothing more than what we had in our pockets which happened to be a pocket knife and our hands pretty much."
>>>Other news from the cemetery:
And what they found was a headstone that had fallen over marking the grave site of Willie Richardson who died in 1864.
Brendan's mom, Michelle, works as a geneologist at the Lewiston Public Library and looked up Willie's name to find out more about the mystery grave.
Genaelogist Michelle Kratts said, "We're still not sure if they were children, there's three boys there. We don't know if it's infants, children or maybe Civil War soldier, we still don't know."
They've also been able to find family members of Willie who now live out of state.
Kratts said, "They were thrilled because it's kind of a whole other chapter to their family history that they didn't know about."
While Michelle will continue to look for information about Willie, the boys and the cemetery are looking for more head stones to uncover.
"They find little bits just like this and they give us some tools and we just tear it up," added Hake.
Hake said, "Afterward it just kind of turned into a curiosity now it's more of a hobby."
But they say Willie's headstone will always be their favorite.
Kratts said, "It's pretty cool that we could actually bring back someone who was covered and someone actually loved that person and we could actually bring it back."
Fittingly, the very bottom of Willie's headstone reads, "Lost, but not forgotten".
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