History Saturday in the Cemetery, August 8—Now in its 5th year, this very popular and well-attended program is offered on the second Saturday of each month, May through September. The 90-minute presentation includes a history talk followed by a short walking tour to grave sites relating to the featured subject. The August topic will be, “Religious Leaders and the Churches of Jacksonville,” and will be presented by Docents Shirley Blaul and Pam Smith. All programs begin at 10:00am and no advance reservations are required. Meet your docents at the top of the Cemetery Road where parking is available. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. The program is presented by the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery and donations are very much appreciated and help support our restoration and preservation efforts in the cemetery.

Cemetery Marker Cleaning and Workshop, August 15—Join our group of dedicated volunteers who have been cleaning grave markers in the Jacksonville Cemetery for the past few years. They have been cleaning the markers to remove moss, lichen and vegetation from the stones, all of which help retain moisture, and cause the stone to break down prematurely. They also clean the inscriptions and symbolism allowing visitors to read and appreciate these beautiful pieces of art. We start at 9:00am and work until around noon time. All tools, supplies and instructions on proper cleaning techniques are provided. If you’re interested in joining our group of volunteers, meet us at the Sexton’s Tool House, top of the Cemetery Road where parking is available. Dress accordingly as this is a hands-on project and you may get a little wet. We suggest bringing a stool to sit on, a hat and sunscreen. Marker Cleaning Workshops are held on the third Saturday of the month through September 19.

A Generous Gift—Just prior to Memorial Day, I was most fortunate to meet a descendant of Samuel Taylor in the cemetery. You may recall that the Friends applied for, and received, a military marker to place on the grave of Samuel and Melissa’s son, Hayes Benjamin Taylor, who was killed in the Spanish American War. Denise and her husband were returning to their home in British Columbia and stopped by the cemetery to pay their respects. They were very most appreciative of how well the cemetery is being cared-for and had high praise for the work of the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery and our volunteers, having followed us on our website. Denise asked about lowering the boxwood hedges around the Taylor Family Block and one thing lead to another. She mentioned the entrance into the block being somewhat blocked by the hedges and I pointed out that the original sandstone steps and bollards leading into the block are in need of restoration. I explained that while on our wish list, the priority when compared to other projects, was low. Denise seemed interested in seeing what it would cost to have the steps restored and I offered to get an estimate for her. I am pleased to report that Denise has provided the FOJHC with a donation to cover the cost of the work and we are delighted that another family block will be restored to its original look. The Taylor family Block is located in the City Section of the Cemetery.

Please visit www.friendsjvillecemetery.org for additional details and a listing of all our events and activities. Call 541-826-9939 with questions.

Featured image caption: Linda DeWald and Trudy Pasquale at June 2015 Marker Cleaning. Photo: Mary Siedlecki