The majority of our group of volunteers have
been caring for the cemetery grounds since 2002 with new people
joining us on a regular basis. Over the year's enhancements
such as a new sign at the cemetery's entrance, interpretive
panels, benches, brochures, and Interpretive Center has made
the Jacksonville Cemetery quite a popular place to visit for
families, friends, residents, and visitors alike. Three yearly
community clean-up days and ongoing monument restoration work have helped us to keep the cemetery grounds neat, tidy and safe for all to enjoy.
As a result of a grant that we received in
2006 from the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries our
trained volunteers are now able to share their skills and
knowledge with others in Southern Oregon. In June of 2012
we held two training workshops, one on marker repair and restoration,
and the other on how to clean cemetery markers. This June
we will be holding ongoing marker cleaning workshops on the
third Saturday of the month in April, June, July, August,
and September. Our trained volunteers have also been able
to assist other local cemeteries with marker restoration projects.
It is wonderful to be able to help some of the smaller cemeteries
with manpower and supplies.
In the Jacksonville Cemetery trained volunteers have restored 142 markers to date, with another 67 being restored by professionals. In addition, trained volunteers have also restored curbing, steps and decorative urns. Our three biggest projects have been the installation of a period style fence around the Plymale Family Block, the restored iron fencing around the Kahler Family Block, and the recent restoration of the retaining wall and curbing, as well as, the iron fencing around the Muller Family Block. These were all major and expensive projects with volunteers working along side the professionals to help keep costs down.
The photo at the top of the page is of a military marker that was placed at the gravesite of Pvt. Hayes Benjamin Taylor, a Spanish America War Veteran, who was killed in action at the Battle of Malabon in the Philippines on March 25, 1899. His remains were sent home to Jacksonville and buried in the cemetery on February 21, 1900. However, his final resting place was never marked. Working with the office of Veterans Affairs the Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery were able to secure a marker for his gravesite and we were honored to place it with a beautiful Dedication and Memorial Service on November 14, 2012.
2013 will mark the start of our major fund
raising effort to restore the Ish Family Block, located in
the Odd Fellow (IOOF) Section of the cemetery. The large elaborate
markers are all of the Victorian Era and the block is surrounded
by sandstone curbing with an entrance step and a beautiful
iron fence and gate. Given time, settlement, and vandalism
the entire block is in need of extensive restoration. It will
be without a doubt our biggest undertaking to date. The FOJHC
has set aside $5,000 towards the project with an additional
$2,200 in donations received over the recent holidays. We
plan on several fund raisers during the year and pursuing
grant opportunities as they become available. Our first fund
raiser will be hosted by the IOOF with a spaghetti dinner
on Saturday, February 23, 2013. All proceeds will go towards this restoration
Our Eighth Annual production of our major
fund raising event, Meet the Pioneers, is scheduled for Friday,
October 11, and Saturday, October 12, 2013. Proceeds from
this program cover our very limited operating expenses with
the majority of the funds covering ongoing restoration and
preservation work in the cemetery.
Be sure to check out the Calendar and Events Section for more information on our "Save the Ish Block" campaign, this year's Meet the Pioneers, and other Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery activities and events.