By Cathy Stuehmeier
For those of you that read part one in last week’s issue of The Weekly, I’m sure you already have an appreciation for Gilmore Cemetery. And today, thanks to those that have invested endless hours and energy into this worthwhile project, Gilmore Cemetery takes its rightful place in our history. It is now a tribute to those in their final resting places, some from as far away as the Fenton family of Wayne County, along with Marion County’s familiar family names like Clark, Garrison, Fowler, Chambers, Harding, Smith, Geary, Dalton, Hensley, Berger and many, many more. And the project possibly brings back to life the small town of Clinton from many years ago along with its founding fathers.
One thing is for sure, along with all those that contributed, it helped to have a stone restoration expert on board with this Daughters of the American Revolution project. Vicki Fuhrmann from Traces of Eternity has a great background, actually studying and attending classes to learn the proper way to restore gravestones.
With the help of the Centralia Historical Museum supplying an old map, a procedure was followed. After the ground was cleared and cut trees were removed, the serious stone discovery began and was followed by restoration with many hands-on workers.
Pictured is Vicki hard at work in the process. Looking in the background, you can see the amazing amount of work it took to give new life to Gilmore Cemetery.
With the pictures here you can envision the effort that went into the process of restoring the Davis stone, and that was just one of many, some more ornate than others.
One photo shows the burial spot and the stone for Harriet (Skipper) Clark first being unearthed, then being raised from the ground, then finally finished.
So you can understand there’s no doubt this was and still is a major undertaking, with a lot more to be done. And with those involved so far, I personally have no doubt it will be done and will be a wonderful spot to visit and appreciate for many years to come. I am one that believes we learn from history.
But in the meantime, as I said last week, if you are moved to make a donation (no amount too small or too large) to the cemetery restoration project, please make checks payable to Prairie State Chapter, NSDAR. In the memo line please write Cemetery Restoration Project. Mail to Prairie State Chapter, NSDAR, 166 Mill Rd., Walnut Hill IL 62893-1104.
I have found it personally rewarding to be entrusted to write about this amazing undertaking and worthwhile project. It has been a blessing to work with this amazing group of people. Thank you, and God bless!