Family graves relocated to make way for Twin Hickory neighborhood

Pam Greene (foreground, at left) and Lyle Browning (foreground, at right) help position a tent to shade the grave sites. (Photo by Patty Kruszewski/Henrico Citizen)

Pam Greene (foreground, at left) and Lyle Browning (foreground, at right) help position a tent to shade the grave sites. (Photo by Patty Kruszewski/Henrico Citizen)

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — If you think your summer has been a scorching one, consider the folks who have been toiling in the Wade family cemetery in Twin Hickory. Since July, the team of archaeologists and volunteers has been carefully excavating nine graves and preparing them for relocation to a church cemetery.

It’s hot, back-breaking, tedious work — but far from unrewarding.

While the laborers might seem typical construction workers, these workers’ dusty faces are atypically wreathed in smiles.

And as they take breaks to chug drinks and mop their brows, the conversation centers not on complaints about the conditions, but about their enthusiasm for the task at hand.

Pam Greene, a volunteer who answers research queries for Henrico Historical Society, says her enjoyment comes partly from the thrill of the hunt — and the possibility that the “next scrape of the trowel” could uncover new information.

Her passion for projects like these, Greene readily concedes, is bordering on compulsion.

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