September Community Clean-up Day—Thank you to all who were able to join us on Saturday, September 30 for our annual fall clean-up day of the cemetery grounds. While the turn-out was a bit smaller than in the past, the group was amazing and managed to fill 60 very large bags with leaves. These annual clean-up days continue to pay off by keeping the cemetery looking tidy and safe for visitors to walk about. My sincere appreciation to the following folks: Linda Kestner, Steve and Susan Casaleggio, Vivienne Grant, John Welsh, Beverly Helvie, Vicki Lucus, Lois Cartier and Kathy Garrett.

The Return of Meet the Pioneers—While I must admit that I was a little nervous about what to expect with bringing back Meet the Pioneers after taking a year off in 2016, my fears quickly disappeared after tickets went on sale on September 6. The response was amazing and we played to sell-out audiences on both days. Our wonderful cast: Steve and Mary Ann Carlson, Steve Casaleggio, Jim Davidian, Vivienne Grant, Jois Harkness, Robert Hight, Constance Jesser, Carolyn Kingsnorth, Marcy McQuillan, Anne Peugh, Lynn Ransford, David Sours, Lara Stazdas, Seth Weintraub and Ann Wilton presented some very interesting and informative stories of early Pioneers and of historic events in the Rogue Valley. Those attending had nothing but high praise for the performances of the cast and for this year’s stories. Our sincere appreciation to all the Players for an outstanding job and for all the time they spent learning their lines and in rehearsal. The new format and revised tour times were generally well-received by those attending. It certainly made for a safer operation and required less volunteer hours to setup and cleanup.

Our Guides: Thank you to all our guides for safely leading our tour groups along the tour route. Rob Buerk, Susan Casaleggio, Arlis Duncan, Cindy Furrow, Ruth Goldfarb, Dianne Helmer, Robert Heltberg, Linda Kestner, Ellen Martin, Dick Meyers, Gail Nicholson, Dee Reynar, Ken Reynar, Ron Ruppert, Bill Stanton, Betsy Sharp, and Penn Viets.

Hostesses to the Players: Kept our Players nourished in between performances, Beverly Helvie and Eloise Cady.

Ticket and Boarding Area: Thank you and much appreciation to our staff down in the ticket and boarding area, Mary Siedlecki, Katie Haugse, Joan Hess, Pam Smith, Kathy Waltz, Peter Grant, Jack Helvie and Tony Hess.

Pre-Ticket Sales during the month of September: Joan Hess, Linda Kestner, Karen Markman, Ellen Martin, Gail Nicholson, Dee Reynar, Betsy Sharp, Pam Smith and Katy Waltz.

Pre Tour Set-up Crew: Rob Buerk, Ruth Goldfarb, Tony Hess, Linda Kestner, Ellen Martin, Dick Meyers, Mary Siedlecki.

The morning after Clean-up Crew: Kathie Haugse, Dianne Helmer, Tony Hess, Linda Kestner, Dick Meyers and Mary Siedlecki.

A special thank you goes to Ken Gregg for taking photographs of the Players and to Bill and Debbie Miller for taking video of this year’s production.

My sincere appreciation to our Research Committee who get the ball rolling each year: Dianne Helmer, Ellen Martin, Dick Meyers, Gail Nicholson, Dee Reynar and Pam Smith.

Thank you to the residents and staff of Pioneer Village for their support of this special event since 2006, and to Trevor Cull for driving our guests and volunteers up and down the Cemetery Road. Our thanks to the Jacksonville Review, the Visitor’s Center, City of Jacksonville and our cemetery neighbors for their support. We would also like to acknowledge the Southern Oregon Historical Society, Jackson County Genealogical Library, Sue Waldron, Bill Miller and Carolyn Kingsnorth for research material and story lines.

Finally, thank you to all of you who attended this year’s Meet the Pioneers and for your continued support of this very popular Jacksonville event which helps fund the work of our organization. We have much to be thankful for so please enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.

Featured image is of Meet the Pioneers 2017 cast – photo by Ken Gregg.