It seems like Internet Wi-Fi spots are popping up all over the place, but one new hot spot in Paducah, Kentucky, is raising eyebrows.

Paducah’s oldest cemetery is going wireless.

Don Watkins, a local minister and regular visitor of Oak Grove Cemetery, says “it’s a beautiful place. A lot of history here. I find myself stopping and reading names.”

Watkins walks in Oak Grove Cemetery several times a week. The newest addition to the cemetery will let him do a whole lot more.

Paducah spokesperson Pam Spencer says “it does sound strange to have a hotspot at a cemetery, but the purpose behind it makes sense.”

Paducah’s public information officer Pam Spencer says the purpose is simple: to allow people to use the web to help with genealogy research.

Cemetery volunteer Gerald Harwood says “there are a lot of famous people out here — the Scopes from the Scopes trial and Dr. Saunders, who discovered a vaccine for cholera.”

Volunteer Gerald Harwood helps people trace family trees. He says a trip through the 100-acre cemetery is more like a city history lesson.

“Mr. Portieus, who they brought over from Scotland, designed and more less started the cemetery,” Harwood said. “They moved a lot of people out here in 1847 from downtown where the city hall now sits.”

Watkins moved back to Paducah after being gone for several years. He says the cemetery helps him re-connect with his hometown roots and put life into perspective.

Watkins says “being around here helps me remember my mortality — this life is not where it’s at. I think having research capabilities for people to research ancestry is a wonderful idea.”

in WorldNow and WAVE
via Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter