As we enter the winter months, our outdoor activities and work slows down, although we continue to clean-up the cemetery grounds, pick-up downed limbs and branches and clean-up debris to keep the cemetery neat and tidy and safe for all visitors. We’ll keep the Interpretive Panels clean and the Interpretive Center open and brochure boxes stocked for the many visitors who visit year-round. Our first-scheduled Community Clean-Up Day of 2015, will be on Saturday, March 14, so please save the date on your calendars. We plan on offering our very popular History Saturday Programs again in 2015, with the first program on Saturday, May 9 and then the second Saturday of each month through September 12. Marker Cleaning and Workshops will resume on Saturday, April 18, 2015, and continue on the third Saturday of each month from June through September 19. There is no cleaning or workshop scheduled for May as it conflicts with other events. Restoration work will resume in the spring as the weather warms-up.

Thanks to Bill and Debbie Miller, for the proceeds from Bill’s book, Silent City on the Hill, and profits from this year’s Meet the Pioneers, we will be able to take-on another substantial project or two. In January, our Research Committee will begin work on planning our 10th Anniversary Meet the Pioneers Program, which will be presented on October 9 and 10, 2015.

It has been another amazing year for the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery, thanks to our many wonderful and dedicated volunteers and our generous supporters. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that we have without their caring and help. Look for our year-end report in the February, 2015 Jacksonville Review.

Speaking of volunteers, I would like to acknowledge one who was always there at my side and never looking for recognition. As many of you may know, my brother Lee and his wife Janet moved back to New Mexico to be closer to their sons and grandchildren. Lee will be greatly missed by the FOJHC as he was instrumental over the last 8 years in our restoration and preservation efforts in the cemetery. In addition, Lee assisted me with several Restoration Workshops that we conducted around Southern Oregon and the State, as well as having repaired markers in a number of Historic Cemeteries. Lee was always ready to lend a hand when and where it was needed and took great satisfaction and pride in the work he did. Lee especially felt great joy while working on the markers of our Veterans and the grave sites of the children buried in the cemetery. He was always there for our Community Clean-Up Days and helping to setup and clean-up after our Meet the Pioneers tours. Many of you may remember Lee as the bus driver and later the bus announcer who went up and down the Cemetery Road tour after tour, briefing our guests on the way up, and thanking them for attending on the way down. We wish Lee and Janet much happiness and thank Lee for his numerous contributions to the FOJHC and the City of Jacksonville. He will be missed but his work will be appreciated for years to come.

I’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas, the Happiest of Holidays, and good health, joy and success in the New Year. We look forward to welcoming you to one or more of our Cemetery Events and Activities in 2015.

Featured image is of Lee and Dirk Siedlecki