Preserving history at Evergreen Cemetery

My uncle James was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in 1916. Since that time our family has purchased five lots. Visiting those gravesites heightens our sense of loss about the iron fence that was erected in 1907 and taken down last April. My research friends are still dismayed over the loss, and most of them declared “I want a piece of it.” Funds could have been raised for needed repairs to the entrance arches. We respectfully suggest that fence was a missed opportunity to preserve and maintain a valuable local historical characteristic not only for the cemetery but for the entire community.

The gravesites of Alpena County pioneers remind us of their contribution to the development of the area from the mid-1800s onward. At Evergreen we honor veterans from the War of 1812 up to and including current global conflicts. Visitors travel great distances to study or search there for their own ancestors.

Going forward there are positive steps we can take to preserve the remaining features at Evergreen before we lose more historical treasures. The small red brick building inside and to the right of the entrance gates could be repurposed as an historical information kiosk. This former restroom building has four recessed windows protected from weather. Each could hold one of the following: a poster of the cemetery diagram, cemetery history, photos of significant cemetery characteristics and Veterans recognition. The white trim of this brick building needs painting. My friends and I stand ready for the task, and will supply materials at no cost to the city. I am sure there are others who would support needed preservation activities. It is time for some Friends of Evergreen. (Please watch for our upcoming winter presentation The History of Evergreen Cemetery)

Marcia Simmons

Harrisville