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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

McCord Cemetery Internments Now on Find-A-Grave

Jeanne Johnson has submitted the internments at McCord to the Find-a-Grave website. There are 255 total internments from 3 cemetery readings, plus some from the Montgomery County death index that were reported as buried at McCord but are not in the readings. Please note that not every burial will have its own marker, but each has its own memorial page in the McCord Cemetery at Find-a-Grave.

Restore McCord will be conducting another reading in the near future, including photographs of each marker. Following that reading, any necessary changes will be made in the Find-a-Grave records and the photos will be posted.

Many, many thanks to Jeanne for dedicating her time to this project! Please check out the fruits of her labor at

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why McCord Needs Our Help

I could write an entire article about why every cemetery deserves our attention. The recent scandals at Burr Oak cemetery in Chicago demonstrate how deeply people care about the final resting places of their loved ones. But of all the old and neglected cemeteries in this country, why McCord? My husband and I first became aware of McCord because several of his distant ancestors are buried there. And when we went to visit there last August, we couldn't even reach the section where they were buried. The brambles and brush and bees kept us away. We also saw several toppled and broken headstones, each of which represents a person, a family, and part of the history of Illinois and our country.

McCord, formerly known as Old Bear Creek cemetery, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Illinois. Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Black Hawk War and Civil War are buried there. The gravestones at McCord reflect the pioneer history of Illinois and we should honor them. Restore McCord was formed to do just that, by restoring as many of the headstones as we can locate, and maintaining the cemetery grounds so that family members, descendents, and genealogists are able to visit the site. We will be also posting the results of our cemetery readings and photos of each headstone for the benefit of people who cannot visit in person.

Follow this blog for updates and come to our first meeting on Saturday, November 7th at 3:00 pm. We'll be gathering at the Century House in Irving to talk about our progress to date and discuss what still needs to be done. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Group Forms to Restore Cemetery

I am very excited to announce the formation of "Restore McCord," a new group dedicated to repairing, restoring and maintaining McCord (or "Old Bear Creek") Cemetery, located in Irving Township, Montgomery County, Illinois. The new group is being formed under the auspices of the Irving Area Historical Society. Our first meeting will be held on Saturday, November 7, 3pm at the Century House, 117 E. Union, in Irving. The meeting is open to the public, so come and join us! If you can't make it, I will be updating this blog on our progress, so check back in!