HISTORIC CEMETERY

Friends of Jacksonville's 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 1,502 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, we were able to host two successful Community Clean-up Days, one on March 27, 2021 and the other on May 21, 2021. Students from the Rogue Valley Adventist Academy helped clean-up the cemetery grounds on September 8 and 15, 2021. Scouts from Jacksonville Troop 17 and Jacksonville Pack 3017 along with parents and siblings helped to clean-up the grounds on October 23, 2021.

A total of 259 hours were contributed by 103 volunteers.


Our new program, Adopt-A-Block launched in March 2021, has been a tremendous success with some 200 volunteers signed on and caring for their adopted 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 was to keep the program as simple and attractive as possible. Therefore, none of the time contributed by volunteers in the Adopt-A-Block program are reflected or included in the total number of hours noted above or below.

Additional time was spent caring for the grounds in areas not adopted by individuals, cleaning and maintaining the Interpretive Panels, Interpretive Center and the Kiosk Map and Pavilion, as well as restocking cemetery brochures, 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 703 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 the 2022 Community Clean-up dates and details.

Marker Restoration - Three major restoration projects were completed this past year. The Bybee and Reed blocks in the City section along with the Chavner block in the Catholic section were totally restored. Monuments, curbing, steps, and bollards were all removed and reinstalled on a new foundation and everything being leveled and secured in place. Volunteers also rebuilt two decorative cradles in the Catholic section and worked on a total of sixty-one headstones and monuments. The Friends also hired and paid for a local contractor to rebuild two brick grave surrounds one in the City section and the other in the Jewish cemetery. A total of 326 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 were only able to host 4 workshops in 2021 rather than the normal 6, due to the virus and weather. Those volunteers who attended cleaned 114 headstones and monuments while contributing 164 hours in volunteer labor. Since these workshops began in 2013, volunteers have cleaned 1,069 markers and contributed 1,534 volunteer hours. A very impressive endeavor and appreciated even more so, as you walk the grounds

Note:  Be sure to check our Events Page for Workshop dates for 2022.

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 delayed the scheduled start of our History Saturday in the Cemetery programs from May to July. Following the direction and guidelines of our Public Health Officials, the Governor and with the cooperation of our audience members, we successfully and safely were able to present two programs in July, followed by one in August, September and October. Given the conditions and ongoing concerns with the pandemic in October of 2021 and not being able to provide for a safe and healthy environment for our guests and volunteers, we had to cancel our Meet the Pioneers program, Volunteers contributed 50 hours of volunteer time in presenting their History Saturday programs to 142 guests.  

Note: See our Meet the Pioneers and Events Page for 2022 dates and details.

Additional Projects in 2021 

Cemetery Kiosk Project - As planned, we were able to add individual block numbered signs in the following sections: I.O.O.F, Masonic, Improved and Independent Orders of Red Men. These were in addition to the ones placed in the City section in 2019.   They, along with the cemetery map have been well received by visitors trying to locate the grave sites of friends and loved ones. We also added a bulletin board by the cemetery map with QR Codes that allow visitors to easily download the cemetery records, the map, self-guided walking tour and the Friends website.  

Another project started in 2021 is our Story Boards. Volunteers researched and prepared text that will be placed at eleven grave sites of some of Jacksonville's early Pioneers. They will provide visitors with a brief history of the individual and/or family buried in the block. Most will also include a historical photograph. The new Story Boards will be placed in the spring of 2022. Placement of additional Story Boards is planned for the near future.