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Friday, May 6, 2016

Oak Hill Directory project progressing

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Photo)
Peg Corrington and Micki Conley, right, of the Oak Hill Cemetery Directory Project are pictured next to a model of the proposed directory. Photo by Mike Leckband
Have you ever tried to locate one person among the 8,000 grave sites at Oak Hill Cemetery? Has your Aunt Matilda come from Kansas to find Grandma's and Grandpa's headstone? When the cousins from California fly in to take photos of the family plot, can they find it? Have your kids or grandkids got a school or 4-H project involving a genealogical history of their family?

What is needed is a method, a directory and map to show the way. Cherokee Oak Hill Cemetery west of town is the largest of the 24 in our county and it definitely has a need .We can make it happen!

In 2001, Pilot Rock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) received a monetary bequest from the estate of Florence Frisbie. She had been a member of Pilot Rock from 1978 until her death in 2000. After much thought and discussion, Chapter members decided in 2006 that a directory/locator boards for Cherokee County cemeteries would be a worthwhile project. It is the belief of Pilot Rock DAR that Florence Frisbie, our benefactor, would see this project as a fitting memorial; one benefiting our communities, families, friends and visitors by providing an easier way to locate where individuals are buried.

Surveys, information sheets and diagrams were sent out to all clerks of township trustees, church and city caretakers in 2006 regarding the cemetery directory project. Mike Rose of Valley Glass made a sample directory. This first directory board was installed in Afton Township by the Afton Auxiliary and family volunteers in 2007.

Following that was Liberty Township in 2008, Quimby Grand View in 2009, Washta Sunset View in 2010, Aurelia Pleasant Hill also in 2010, and Larrabee Cedar Cemetery in 2011. Directory boards have been constructed, but not yet erected, for Cherokee's Memory Gardens, and Emmanuel Lutheran in Afton Township.

The goal for 2012 is the financing, constructing, and dedicating of a shelter and signage for Oak Hill Cemetery.

Beginning in 2006, numerous people were contacted for discussion and ideas concerning Oak Hill. Support of a verbal and financial nature was indicated. These suggestions led to a shelter building design and cost estimates done in July 20011 by Eddie Matthews, a draftsman at Marcus Lumber. Also in July of 2011, a second meeting with Cherokee's City Administrator and the Mayor verified that the city would pour the concrete base for the shelter. The City of Cherokee is the caretaker and responsible for Oak Hill Cemetery. Currently there is no auxiliary group for the cemetery.

On August 9th of 2011 a meeting was held at city hall for the newly formed Oak Hill Cemetery Directory Committee. The dozen members include Micki Conley, Peggy Corrington, Nancy Parrott, Don Eikmeier, Mayor Mark Murphy, Duane Mummert, Tim Greenwood, Richard Boothby, Margaret Woltman, Richard Waterbury, Lila Saxby and Orville Saxby.

In September 2011, Pilot Rock DAR committed to a donation of $3,000 for the Oak Hill Directory.

In January, committee members worked on a project description, timeline, project need, community impact and budget for a grant application. The project is estimated to cost $30,000.

The Cherokee Ag Show on February 7th, 2012 was the information and fund raising kick-off. Cherokee State Bank sponsored the Oak Hill booth. Denny Holton and Caitlin Thomas of Pilot Rock Signs had a 4' x 8' example of the signage to be used for the directory located in the booth. Over 100 brochures were taken by the show-goers for consideration. Approximately $2,300 was donated that day.

The Oak Hill Cemetery Directory Committee decided on a goal of having the total dollars committed before construction begins. The next goal is to hopefully begin the concrete work and construction in the Spring of 2012. Wouldn't it be great if the shelter building and signage could be in place for the Memorial Day program!

Many hands make light work. Many donations make a completed goal.



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