A dozen members of the Madera Rotary Club traveled to the site of the historic town of Borden, southwest of Madera, to do cleanup and landscape work at the Chinese Cemetery. The project was part of Love Madera Day held around the city Saturday.
The cemetery was created in 1872 for the 2,500 Chinese laborers building the Southern Pacific (then known as the Central Pacific) railroad. There are few markers remaining because many of the men buried there, as per Chinese custom, were exhumed to be reburied in their home villages in China.
The project was organized by club secretary Karen Mitchell and community service director Sonia Alvarez.
The area had become overgrown with weeds, shrubs and trees, which made the gravestones and markers hard to recognize and damaged some. The Rotarians cut down the trees, cut them up, loaded the wood in trucks and hauled it away. They plan to return to the cemetery to do additional cleanup and place artificial flowers on the graves.