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With Friends of Fairview’s Cemetery Restoration Seminar

          The Friends of Fairview are pleased to announce their 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Event Schedule.  In June they will be hosting a Cemetery Restoration Seminar.  In September, the 6th Annual Stories Behind the Stones Historic Cemetery Tour will be held.  Then, in October, they will be celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Fairview Cemetery followed by Find Your Ancestor Day.

Nathaniel Scribner Gravestone-1

Gravestone of New Albany founding father, Nathanial Scribner

Fairview Cemetery was established in the early 1840’s and was first called the Northern Burial Grounds.  Today, Fairview Cemetery is 65 plus acres and contains over 30,000 grave sites.  Many of New Albany’s first families are buried in Fairview Cemetery.  The Friends of Fairview know how important Fairview Cemetery is to family members that have loved ones buried there but also its historically significance to the city of New Albany.  The Friends group are constantly striving to create awareness of Fairview Cemetery by hosting events such as these.  “The year 2016 is a very special as year for us since we will be celebration not only Indiana’s Bicentennial but also Fairview’s 175th anniversary.  That is why we decided on hosting three events this year.  We want to really celebrate the importance of this cemetery.” Stated by Jim Munford, President of the Friends to Fairview.

The first event to be held in this year of celebration will be the Cemetery Restoration Seminar that will be held on Friday June 17th and Saturday June 18th.  On Friday the hours are from 1am to 5 pm and classes will be held at the Carnegie Library.  These classes will cover topics such as Indiana cemetery laws, customs of funerals and burials,  how to access and discover information about cemeteries, and the stories that skeletons can tell.

On Saturday the hours are from 9 am to 5 pm and the classes will be held in Fairview Cemetery.  The morning segment will be classes on basic cemetery repairs and cleaning of stones led by John Walters the “Graveyard Groomer”. Around noon there will be a break for lunch and box lunches will be provided.  Right after lunch Kenny Popp from Catholic Cemeteries of Louisville, Kentucky will lead a tour through the gravestones explaining what the stones are made of, where they might have originated from and how the larger monuments were constructed.  After this tour, John Walters’ group will assist participants in hands-on grave stone repairs and cleaning.

Before and After Photos

Before and after restoration and cleaning

“We are so pleased with the very diverse topics we have lined up for this seminar,” Barbara Zoller states “Any one that is interested in cemeteries and genealogy will want to attend!  We have speakers from the Indiana Department or Natural Resources in Indianapolis, Cave Hill Cemetery and Catholic Cemeteries both of Louisville, Kentucky.”  Ms. Zoller, from New Albany, is one of the co-chairs of this event.  Kathy Kessinger, from Jeffersonville, is the other co-chair.

If you plan to attend – here is what you need to know: Tickets are $30 and the class size is limited.  So call soon as this seminar is expected to be sold out.  To purchase tickets, please call Barbara Zoller at 502-510-1907.  The Friday classes will be held at the Carnegie Center located at 201 East Spring Street in New Albany.  Parking can be accessed from Bank Street and participants should enter using the Bank Street side door.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.  On Saturday, the classes will be held in Fairview Cemetery which is located at 800 East 6th Street in New Albany.  Snacks, drinks and box lunches will be provided.  It is recommended that you bring a folding chair, sunscreen and bug spray.

The second event of this Bicentennial Celebration will be the 6th Annual Stories Behind the Stones Historic Cemetery Tour of Fairview Cemetery.  Led by members of the Friends of Fairview Stories Behind the Stones Committee, each tour will treat participants to brief accounts of people’s lives at the family markers as told by those dressed in period costume and assuming their historic roles.  This year the focus will be on New Albany residents who had state wide influence.  “In the 200 plus years of New Albany, some of the city’s residents contributed greatly to Indiana’s history – but many are not aware of these contributions.” remarked Kathy Kessinger,  “We feel it was very important to share these stories as part of Indiana’s Bicentennial year.”  Guests will learn about a New Albany resident who became Indiana’s 11th Governor, Ashbel Willard and Michael Kerr who was elected to represent two different Indiana Districts in the United States House of Representatives on two different occasions.  There will also be a scene that centers around the signing of Indiana’s State Constitution in 1816.   This scene will be located near the gravesite of Patrick Henry Shields, who was one of the signers of that constitution.  The committee is working on 2 other scenes but are keeping this information under wraps at this time.  “We want there to be some surprises in the cemetery this year!” remarked Ms. Kessinger.

Patrick Shields Gravestone-1

Patrick Henry Shield’s (Signer of Indiana State Constitution) gravestone

If you plan to attend – here is what you need to know: Dates for this year’s event are Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 24th with a rain date of Sunday, September 25th.  Tours start at 6:00 pm both nights and run every 15 minutes.  Tours take approximately one hour and cover about ½ mile on the paved roads in the cemetery.  Chairs are located at each scene and the early tours will have golf carts for those that walking the ½ mile would be an issue.  Tickets go on sale August 15th.  Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children K thru 8. You can purchase tickets by calling 812-391-0705. Visa and Master Card are accepted.  Mary Munford recommends “People shouldn’t wait too long after August 15th to call to get their tickets.  This event has always sold out!” Ms. Munford is the Treasurer for the Friends of Fairview.

The last event in 2016 is the 175th Celebration of Fairview Cemetery followed by “Find Your Ancestor Day” on Saturday, October 22nd.  This event was previously scheduled earlier this year but had to be canceled due to rain and thunderstorms.  The event will be from 12 noon to 1 pm and include remarks from local dignitaries about the importance of Fairview Cemetery followed by anniversary cake.  Then from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm the “Find Your Ancestor Day” event will start.  Guest are encouraged to bring a list of their relatives that are buried in Fairview and there will be volunteers on site to assist them in locating their gravesites. This event was held for the first time in May of 2015 and was so popular that the Friends of Fairview decided to make it an annual event.

If you plan to attend – here is what you need to know:  Both of these events are FREE.  Bring a list of relatives who are buried in Fairview Cemetery and wear comfortable walking shoes.

For more information on any of the Friends of Fairview events please contact Barbara Zoller at 502-510-1907 or Kathy Kessinger at 812-987-2132.  You can also check out the Friends of Fairview’s Facebook page.

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