Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Sign Installed at McCord Cemetery

This past weekend was a big one for McCord Cemetery. Meetings and fundraising galore! I'll cover more of those events in a later post. But today I want to start at the end. The events of Saturday and Sunday were capped off with the installation of a new sign at McCord Cemetery!

Supporters of McCord Cemetery proudly display the new sign installed April 17, 2010.

The sign was generously donated by Galen and Marilyn Strain, and installed by them along with newly-elected members of the McCord Cemetery Association Board and volunteers from Restore McCord.

Sign being installed. It was a perfect sunny Spring afternoon.

What a ceremonial ending to a ground-breaking weekend. Thanks to all who attended!

The old sign had seen better days. This hand-painted piece of history will be preserved at the Irving Area Historical Museum.

New McCord Cemetery sign. Marilyn Strain planted flowers at the base. They'll be beautiful once they bloom!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Support Restore McCord with PayPal!

I'm happy to announce that Restore McCord is now accepting donations via PayPal. You can help support cemetery restoration and improvements with this secure, online service using your credit or debit card. Your donations are tax deductible.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

April Meeting Will Be a Big One!

We're starting to see the first signs that winter is ending, so it's the perfect time to kick off the next phase of work at the McCord Cemetery. We will meet at the Century House (117 East Union) in Irving on Saturday, April 17th. The agenda is jam-packed with activities:
  1. 11:00am - 2:00pm: Fundraising Lunch
  2. 2:00: Raffle
  3. 2:15: McCord Cemetery Association Meeting
  4. After the meeting: Installation of New Cemetery Sign
  5. 10:30-2:00: The Irving Area Historical Museum will be open for visitors.

Note: 100% of all proceeds will go toward cemetery maintainence and restoration.

You can make a whole day of it! We'll be serving mostaccioli for lunch, with salad, garlic bread, beverages & delicious home-made desserts. The raffle will include several prizes, including a table top quilt donated by Marilyn Strain and a rug donated by Marilyn Taylor. (Other raffle items are still being donated as I write this!)

During the afternoon meeting, we will formally "restore" the McCord Cemetery Association, the legal owner of the cemetery, by electing officers. The Association needs a president, a secretary-treasurer and 3 directors. We are preparing nomination forms now, so if you or anyone you know would like to serve in one of these postitions, please let us know so we can send you a form. Anyone who has relatives buried at McCord is automatically a member of the Association, but everyone is invited to attend the meeting.

We'll also be planning this season's cemetery improvements during the meeting. Several ideas will be discussed, including a cleanup day and a new fence. Weather permitting, we'll cap it all off by heading to the cemetery to intall a new sign that has been donated by Galen & Marilyn Strain!

I'm really looking forward to this day, and I can't wait to see you all in person. Please come for as much of the day as you can!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Check Out McCord Cemetery on Find A Grave

I highly recommend that anyone with an interest in the McCord Cemetery check out the "virtual" cemetery at the Find A Grave website (http://www.findagrave.com/). Our extraordinary volunteers have been working overtime to create what is perhaps the most well-documented cemetery on this popular website. Jeanne has posted a memorial for every known burial at McCord (all 261!), many with headstone photos, biographies and/or obituaries. A very special "thank you" goes to Lemar and Linda for the photography. With some of the older stones starting to deteriorate, their photographs help preserve these images for all time. When genealogist have questions about birth or death dates, there's nothing like seeing it "set in stone!"

Linda & Lemar at McCord, standing behind the stones for Joseph Thompson Williams (1818-1894) and his wife Drusilla Ann Knight (1829-1873). I had given up ever finding these headstones! Many thanks to Linda & Lemar!

To locate McCord at Find A Grave, you can click on this link (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=106799&CScn=mccord&CScntry=4&CSst=16) or simply go to http://www.findagrave.com/ and click on "search for a cemetery" and enter McCord, Illinois, Montgomery County. From there, you can enter a specific name you are looking for, or browse through all of the burials at McCord.

I hope that other family history researchers can find a long-sought "treasure" here like I did!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

First Meeting

The first meeting of Restore McCord was a rousing success! Seventeen wonderful people showed up, all interested in how this historic cemetery could be restored. Some of the exisiting ideas were endorsed and some new ideas (like a new cemetery sign) were brought up. Here is a photo (courtesy of Lemar Hartman) of the attendees.

We are now working on our next steps: what should be done now, what should wait until spring. It's exciting to see how many people want to help with this effort!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Progess Report

The first meeting of the Restore McCord group is this afternoon at the Century House in Irving. I thought this would be a good day to review what's already been done!

A master list of interments has been created, based on a compilation of cemetery readings conducted in 1946, 1980 and 1985, as well as purchase receipts for burial plots and a few obituaries. Special thanks to volunteer Jeanne Johnson for all of the hours she spent compiling this list. We will be working to make the master list more complete and accurate as our work continues.

Memorials for 261 individuals buried at McCord have been posted at the “Find A Grave” website (www.findagrave.com). When available, photos of headstones, obituaries or portraits can be posted here, as well as “virtual” flowers and notes. Again, Jeanne Johnson has been the driver of this effort.

The cemetery has been cleared of brush and brambles in the past few months. I posted some before and after photos previously, and they are amazing! A huge swath of brush and brambles were cleared away, giving us access to parts of the cemetery that were nearly impossible to reach. A big “thank you” to Dale and Keith Walcher, who have accomplished all of this.

While we’re hoping that much of our work will be done by volunteers, we have started fundraising to support the future efforts of Restore McCord. Our gratitude goes out to our generous supporters:

Molly & Todd Bennington
Haidee & Samuel Morehead
Kimberly Goetz
Marilyn & Galen Strain
Lemar Hartman
Joyce & Rich Williams
Jeanne Johnson
Irving Area Historical Museum
Sarah Lee
Village of Irving
Mark Paden

The idea for Restore McCord was sparked in late August of this year. Look at all that has been accomplished in a little over 2 months! As more and more volunteers get involved, just imagine what we can do by this time next year!

Friday, October 30, 2009

8 Days to Meeting in Irving

The 1st meeting of Restore McCord is coming up in just 8 days! I can't wait to meet other people who share our interest in restoring this historic cemetery. I'm also hoping to meet some people who have already contributed their time and/or money to our cause. It'll be great to thank them in person!

This may be our first meeting, but the work is already well underway. So much has been accomplished! Just look at some "before & after" photos that demonstrate how the cemetery has been cleared of brush and brambles. (Photos courtesy of Lemar Hartman.)

August 2009

October 2009