Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery


               HISTORIC CEMETERY



Our dedicated and loyal volunteers managed to do an amazing job in supporting the goals of our non-profit organization in caring for the cemetery. In total they contributed 1,452 hours of labor for scheduled activities where volunteer hours are recorded!

Grounds and Cemetery Maintenance - Thanks to our volunteers, those from other organizations, and the community-at-large, we were able to host three successful Community Clean-up Days, April 29th, May 20th, and October 21st, 2023.
A total of 262 hours were contributed by 120 volunteers.

Our Adopt-A-Block program, launched in March 2021, has continued to be a great success with some 200 volunteers signed on and regularly caring for their adopted cemetery blocks. They have contributed hundreds upon hundreds of hours in the process, and the cemetery grounds have never looked better! Volunteers in this program work at their own pace, when and as often as they choose, with no pressure of being in the cemetery on a certain day or time or having to keep track of their hours. Our goal has been to keep the program as simple and attractive as possible. Therefore, none of the time contributed by volunteers in the Adopt-A-Block program is reflected or included in the total number of hours noted above or below.

Additional time was spent on General Cemetery Maintenance, caring for the grounds in areas not adopted by individuals, cleaning and maintaining the Interpretive Panels, the Interpretive Center, the Cemetery Map and Pavilion, as well as restocking cemetery brochures, and cleaning and restocking the Volunteer Tool Room. A group of volunteers also placed over 400 flags for Memorial Day and removed them following Veterans Day. Approximately 513 hours of volunteer time went into helping to care for the cemetery grounds in the activities noted above,
Note: Please check our Events Page for 2024 Community Clean-up dates and details.

Marker Restoration - Two major restoration projects were completed this past year. Work on the Pape/Prim block (Masonic 273) continued with the installation of custom fencing and a gate to replace originals believed stolen many years ago.  Funded by Friends donors, the fencing and gate were designed by Friends restoration volunteers and fabricated and installed by Mountain Iron Works of Murphy, Oregon, fulfilling a long-time goal of late Friends founder, Dirk Siedlecki.

Our second major restoration of 2023, the Toepper block (City 333), was accomplished by Friends restoration volunteers who cleaned, leveled, and refurbished the curbing, steps, and monuments of this very visible block at the top of Cemetery Road.

Among the other restoration projects of 2023 was the long-awaited installation of a cemetery marker on the grave of Cynthia Pribble Dairy(City 187), an early Jacksonville pioneer of 1852. Volunteers also made repairs at WW1 Veteran Francis Winn’s gravesite (Catholic G8) to relieve pressure from tree roots that had put the headstone in danger of toppling over.

A total of 195 hours of volunteer time was directed to restoration work in the cemetery.
If you would be interested in learning and helping us with this type of volunteer work, please contact us at: 

Marker Cleaning Workshops- We once again hosted five workshops in 2023. Our volunteers cleaned 124 headstones and monuments, while contributing 108 hours in volunteer labor. Since these workshops began in 2013, volunteers have cleaned 1,343 markers and contributed 1,837 volunteer hours - a very impressive endeavor, and one appreciated even more so as you walk the cemetery grounds
Note:  Be sure to check our Events Page for Workshop dates for 2024.

Honoring our Veterans - Each year the Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery purchase flags to be placed on each grave site of the Veterans who rest within our cemetery. Volunteers place the flags just before Memorial Day and then remove them in November following Veterans Day. There are over 400 Veterans resting within the cemetery grounds. 
Note: Volunteer hours are included under Grounds and Cemetery Maintenance.

History Events and Tours – We again offered our popular History Saturday in the Cemeteryprograms in 2023, this time on four Saturday mornings from June through September. 

Our docents also conducted Guided Toursfor a school group (Wilson Elementary 4th Graders) and a seniors group from Sun City, Roseville. Volunteers and docents logged nearly 160 hours of volunteer time in presenting these programs to 90 guests. 

Additional Projects in 2023 
Story Boards– With funding from our generous donors, we were able to complete the installation of additional stanchion-mounted Story Boards at the gravesites of Civil War veteran, Illtid Thomas (Masonic 357), and entomologist, Dr. Louis Gentner and his wife, Lillian Gentner (IOOF 87), namesakes of the rare Gentner’s Fritillaria.  Researched and prepared by our Volunteers, these texts provide visitors with a brief history of the individual and/or family buried in the block. Most include a historical photograph. Placement of additional Story Boards is planned for 2024.