The Friends of Lakeview Cemeteries group has just launched an effort to help restore historic headstones in the prominent Patchogue Village cemetery. 

The efforts fall within the group’s stated mission to “to restore, improve and preserve the historic cemeteries …”

And they’ve been at it since the 1990s.

Back then, the collection of six cemeteries just east of Waverly Avenue and just north of West Main Street, had become neglected and overgrown. The plots are known collectively as Lakeview Cemetery.

Some of the graves are as old as 1798.

At the top of the group’s list of priorities, reads an announcement, is the restoration of countless damaged or “leaning” headstones, including those of about a dozen Revolutionary- and Civil War-era veterans. (The group has received VA money to help in these efforts.)

Friends of Lakeview Cemeteries (formerly Cemetery Restoration Committee) is a committee of the Greater Patchogue Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

With an eye toward repairing as many grave markers as possible, the group this week announced the “Save the Stones” initiative, which involves an appeal for wider community help.

Here’s what the effort entails:

REPAIR FUND

Many badly damaged stones need to be professionally repaired, cleaned and re-set. The group is raising funds to continue this work. To donate, checks to the foundation can be mailed to 15 North Ocean Avenue, Patchogue 11772, with “cemetery” in the memo line.

STRAIGHTEN AND CLEAN

Volunteers with some experience and training will be working to re-set stones that are intact but “leaning.” The cleaning team has been working for several years, using a widely recognized “no touch” methodology to clean the stones.

ADOPT A PLOT

Through this, individuals or groups agree to beautify and maintain a plot, according to rules for historic cemeteries. To donate or volunteer, people should email Info@patchogue.com, call 631-207-1300 or visit them on Facebook.