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Posts Tagged ‘cemetery preservation’

Boland Gilmartin

I can’t claim certain knowledge of the story of this particular stone, but based on what I see here and what I know of the family history and genealogy movement in this country, I’m going to make some speculation. This looks like the kind of stone that a descendant puts up to honor their family members whose headstones have been lost to time or were too poor to ever have tombstones in the first place. It’s a way of honoring the past. I think it is also an assertion that ordinary people matter – these people may not have discovered the cure for cancer or invented the next big trend, but their lives were still important enough to be honored by those who came after them. I like it, and it’s a pretty important trend to the cemetery preservation movement as a hold. It’s not universally true, but a lot of people I have met who are deeply involved in cemetery preservation got their start because they discovered a cemetery where their ancestors were buried in disrepair and neglect. Sometimes, that narrowly personal interest expands into a general passion to restore and maintain cemeteries in general, and from that springs clean-up projects, fundraising, and cemetery foundations.

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Early American Graveyard Rabbit: Keep This Classic Cemetery Open to the Public!.

I wanted to experiment with the Press This function and was just looking for the right article.  For those interested in cemetery preservation, the Early American Graveyard Rabbit has this post about an important Jewish cemetery in Amsterdam that is at risk of losing funding necessary to keep it maintained and open to the public.

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While the title of this post is a little smart-alecky, I don’t consider what I’m posting about to be a light topic.

100_0410

The title came to me while I was looking at this photograph of a memorial for the Lacey family in Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland. The erosion and possible vandalism to the Lacey monument is sadly typical of Woodland in general. It is a cemetery in disrepair. There is a cemetery foundation, which does its best, but we all know how hard it is for non-profits in general, and in this economy in particular. A few cemeteries are extremely well-off, but most historic cemeteries have few resources towards their upkeep.

So if you care about cemetery preservation, find out if your local historic cemetery has a foundation, and consider throwing a few bucks its way the next time you are making charitable donations. In that vein, while researching this post, I discovered that there is a Historic Cleveland Cemeteries Scavenger Hunt this weekend. Hope to see some of you there!

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