Volunteers from the Sons of the American Revolution and two chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution helped clean the headstones and area surrounding a cemetery on the Eglin Air Force Base on Saturday.

Eglin AFB — The Sons of the American Revolution and two chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution teamed up to clean the headstones and area surrounding a cemetery on the Eglin Air Force Base on Saturday.


The cemetery is one of 33 on the base. Carolyn Ketchel, regent of the Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter of the DAR, said she discovered the cemeteries five years ago when she was hiking.


The DAR and SAR offered to help restore the cemetery. After the first year’s success, they were invited back this year to clean up another of the 33 sites.


"We did such a great job the first year, they asked us to come back and do another one," Ketchel said.


In this particular cemetery, there were two large monuments, one made of marble and the other made of cement. The other graves were marked with wooden stakes.


The marble headstone belonged to William Dabney Cawthon, who moved to Walton County in 1837. He was one of the earliest known ancestors of the Walton County Cawthons, according to the Walton County Heritage Association.


Cawthon’s father was a Virginia patriot, according to Justina Turner, one of the DAR members.


The SAR and DAR helped pull overgrown roots, cleaned the monuments and cleared away some of the fallen branches.


" I’m excited to be here," said Connie Lee of the West Florida chapter.