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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Volunteers support Directory Project for Oak Hill

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Richard Waterbury is one of the many community members involved in trying to make the proposed Oak Hill Directory a reality. Waterbury spends many volunteer hours making crosses for veterans that are buried at Oak Hill. Pictured, left to right, is Richard Waterbury, Bob Warrender, Cherokee City employee at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lila Saxby, Jeff Robinson, Cherokee City employee at Oak Hill Cemetery and Orville Saxby who are proudly displaying some of the crosses that Waterbury makes for the cemetery. Photo by Mike Leckband
Recently, Orville and Lila Saxby, and Richard Waterbury invited the Chronicle Times out to Oak Hill Cemetery to talk about the recent efforts that the Oak Hill Cemetery Directory Committee are trying to accomplish in getting a directory built at the cemetery.

Fundraising efforts began recently, and the goal of $30,000 is far from being met. So fa,r the committee has only raised about 10 percent of the funds that they need and they need your help to complete the project.

They stated that this is a community project that affects all who have family at Oak Hill and a draw to the community itself.

"We spend a lot of time out here and we met all types of people. Many ask us were a love one is buried. Having a directory would help those people," said Lila.

Many visitors to the cemetery are former residents who come to visit and much has changed over the years and many can't remember where a loved one is buried.

Richard Waterbury, Orville Saxby and Lila Saxby are pictured tending to the flower box under the regulation sign at Oak Hill Cemetery. All three are members of the Oak Hill Directory Committee and spend many volunteer hours at Oak Hill. They are pictured at the proposed site of were the directory will be built but need your help in reaching the goal of the Committee. Photo by Mike Leckband
The Saxbys have spent countless hours volunteering at Oak Hill Cemetery and are often seen tending to many of the plants that adorn the cemetery. Richard Waterbury also spends countless hours making crosses for the veterans who are buried at Oak Hill. Both Waterbury and Saxby are members of the Cherokee VFW Wescott Post #2253 and part of the Color Guard which performs military rites for area veteran wht pass away. Lila is often one of the speakers at the Annual Memorial Day Program held at Oak Hill Cemetery, and

they would like to remind the public of the importance of this project.

The City of Cherokee owns and maintains Oak Hill Cemetery.

Located west of the City along County Highway #38 (West Main Street), the cemetery is a 32-acre tract that is available to all citizens of Cherokee and surrounding areas. More than 8,000 gravesites are located at the cemetery. The unused portion of the cemetery should serve the families of Cherokee for the next 40 to 50 years.

The City has one full-time and three seasonal employees who maintain the grounds, prepare burial sites, and coordinate with the local mortuaries. Cemetery records, however, are maintained by the City Clerk's office at City Hall, 416 W. Main St. Access to these records is limited to normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

Freq,ently, visitors to the cemetery arrive on weekends or during evening hours, when access to the cemetery directory is not available. Accordingly, the City welcomed a proposal from the Pilot Rock Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) to sponsor a project to construct a permanent directory and map of those buried at the cemetery. A directory at the entry to the cemetery will dramatically improve access to records and information of past family and friends buried at Oak Hill.

When approached about the Directory in 2008, the City committed to preparing the building site and pouring the 26'X26' concrete slab, on which the building will be attached. Donations and grants are being sought to pay for the project.

The building will consist of an open-sided 24'X24' structure, within which will be a directory map and large panels listing the names and locations of all those buried at the cemetery. It is hoped that the fund drive will be successfully completed yet this Spring or Summer, allowing the structure and directory to be built in 2012.

Please make checks payable to the Cherokee Community Foundation. Checks may be mailed or dropped off at Cherokee City Hall or Cherokee State Bank.

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