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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Oak Hill Directory project reaches next phase

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last week members of the Cherokee City Parks Department poured the concrete base of the new Oak Hill Cemetery Directory. Shown are, left to right, Bob Warrender, Jeff Robinson, Steve Thill and Duane Mummert as they put a power trowel on to the slab to give it the final finish. This marks the next phase in the completion of the Oak Hill Cemetery Directory project. Photo by Mike Leckband
The Oak Hill Cemetery Directory Committee is pleased to announce that construction has begun on the new Oak Hill Cemetery Directory.

Last week the 28 foot by 28 foot concert base was poured by members of the Cherokee City Parks Department as part of the City's donation to the project.

Committee member Micki Conley stated, "Thanks to the support of the community members and businesses, sufficient funds have been collected to begin the structure. Any extra funding will be used for seating, sidewalks and landscaping."

"Currently, a sidewalk leading to a parking area on the west side of the central island is being constructed by the city," she added.

Conley as said, "The bidding papers have been let out to potential contractors and signage has been designed and printed already for installation." Conley also added that the map work is being done by Cherokee County GIS specialist Lindsay Bressler.

Conley then stated that it is the hope of the committee and city that the Directory will be done for viewing and use before 2012 is done.

In 2001, Pilot Rock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) received a monetary bequest from the estate of Florence Frisbie, who 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 board for Cherokee County cemeteries would be a worthwhile project. It is the belief of Pilot Rock DAR that Florence Frisbie, DAR 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 Feb. 7, 2012 was the information and fund raising kick-off. Cherokee State Bank sponsored the Oak Hill booth and 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 began.

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