Before telling you about this month’s events and activities, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of a very special lady and friend, Dee Moore, who died on June 26. Dee was a very strong supporter of our Pioneer Cemetery and of everything historic in Jacksonville. She served on the Board of the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery and donated her skills in photography and graphic arts on many projects. Dee and her husband, Ron, who preceded her in death in January of this year, were dedicated volunteers who were not only generous with their time, but also with financial support. Dee was a remarkable lady who, despite a number of medical conditions over the past several years, never complained or asked “Why me?” She was always upbeat with a beautiful smile and laugh no matter what. Dee was a wonderful sounding board for me and offered reassuring advice and guidance that will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace dear friend… you’ll be truly missed, but will remain in our hearts and thoughts.
Upcoming August Cemetery Events
Tuesday Evening Cemetery Stroll, Tuesday, August 9, 6:30-8:00pm—Join us for an after-dinner stroll through the grounds of Jacksonville’s Pioneer Cemetery. Our stroll this month will be led by Docents Pat Stancel and Shirley Blaul and will be in the Odd Fellow (IOOF) Section of the Cemetery. Learn some of the history of this fraternal organization with deep roots in the community and an active organization, today. We will visit grave sites of some of those Pioneers and members buried within this section. Meet your docents at the top of the Cemetery Road where you will find parking available. Wear comfortable walking shoes and consider bringing a hat, bug spray and water. No advance reservations are required and there is no fee to attend. For those who can and want to help support our work in the cemetery, donations are accepted and appreciated. This will be our final Cemetery Stroll of 2016. We hope you have enjoyed these special tours as much as we have enjoyed leading them.
History Saturday in the Cemetery, Saturday, August 13, 10:00-11:30am—Our program this month, “Pioneers: Their Journey West,” will be presented by Vivienne Grant and Joan Hess. The talk will be on those brave and hearty souls who made the journey westward, using various means and routes, and all they endured and encountered along the way. It promises to be an interesting and informative program. Meet your docents at the Top of the Cemetery Road where you will find parking available. Chairs will be setup next to the Sexton’s Tool House located in the center of the traffic circle. We suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes and bringing along a hat, sunscreen and water.
Advance reservations are not required and we do not charge a fee for this program. Donations are always appreciated and help to support our ongoing restoration and preservation work in the cemetery.
Marker Cleaning and Workshops, Saturday, August 20, 9:00am-12noon—Looking for a fun and worthwhile volunteer project? Then join us for our marker cleaning workshop and learn how to properly and safely clean these wonderful treasures and help preserve them for future generations. All the tools and supplies will be provided along with instructions and our sincere appreciation. Parking is available at the top of the Cemetery Road and at the Sexton’s Tool House, located in the center of the traffic circle. Dress for the project as you will get a little wet and bring along a hat, sunscreen and a stool to sit on.
Coming in October—The Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery and Madrone Theatre Company Team-Up to Present “Spoon River Anthology”—As many of you know, the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery (FOJHC) has decided to take a year off from presenting our Meet the Pioneers program which has been a wonderful success for the past ten years. We do plan on bringing it back in October 2017, which will give us time to fully prepare a new production and allow us to make some changes to reduce the number of volunteers and time it takes to put this program on. Early this year, while working on an idea for something to put on this year in place of Meet the Pioneers, I was approached by Ron Danko with an offer that was just too good to pass up, and more importantly, something that was a wonderful and perfect fit for our annual Meet the Pioneers program.
This fall we will be teaming-up with Madrone Theatre Company, a newly-created theatrical troupe, to present a unique adaptation by Ron Danko of Edgar Lee Masters’ cemetery-inspired “Spoon River Anthology.” The performances will be held on October 7-9, October 14-16 and October 21-23 at Rogue Community College Performance Hall, located at 130 E. 8th Street in Medford. The evening performances on Friday and Saturday’s, October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, and 22, will be at 7:30pm and the Sunday matinees will be offered on October 9, 16, and 23 at 2:00pm.
The ensemble consists of six local actors and one musician, most of whom have strong ties to Jacksonville or other rural settings in Southern Oregon. Ron Danko and three of the other actors, Constance Jesser, Jois Harkness and Lea Worcester all hail from Jacksonville. The other actors include Rob Hirschboeck from Ashland and David Sours of Talent. Compiling folk music and early American songs to accompany the production is David Gordon, who also calls Jacksonville home. Many of you will recall Constance Jesser and David Sours who have taken on roles in Meet the Pioneers for a number of years. They appeared together last year in our 10th Anniversary show in the skit on “Jacksonville’s Saloon Ladies.” David Gordon has been performing on behalf of Historic Jacksonville and presenting his wonderful and well-received musical programs at the Jacksonville Library. It is an amazing cast and promises to be a first class production that all will enjoy.
The performances will be a fundraiser for the FOJHC and their work in caring for, restoring and preserving Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery. We sincerely thank Ron Danko and the Madrone Theatre Company players for their generosity in donating their time and effort to bring this production to the stage. We would also like to thank Wayd Drake who will be the light designer, and of course, Rogue Community College for providing their Performance Hall to us.
We look forward to welcoming you to one or all of these exciting Jacksonville Cemetery events, activities and fundraisers.
Please visit our website at www.friendsjvillecemetery.org for additional details on this and all our Cemetery Events and Activities. Questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 541 826-9939.
Photo of History Saturday in the cemetery by Mary Siedlecki.