The next stone on our list for restoration is near Capt. Kyger’s. It marks the graves of two infant daughters of Lincoln friend and law partner, Ward Hill Lamon, and his sister Elizabeth. Several smaller cemeteries have undergone restoration projects in the past recently, and we applaud those who have been working on them. The Vermilion County Museum Society is helping restore the old cemetery near the rest stop west of Danville.
Office Manager Pat Phillips at Spring Hill Cemetery said, “We welcome the assistance that volunteers can bring us. From trained professionals to people who would like to just help pick up the constantly falling twigs and branches, or even just making notes about stones that are in need of repair while walking through the cemetery.
“Being a not-for-profit organization, and operating only on the interest from two funds, along with the income from new burials, floral and lot sales, it’s a very tight budget to maintain the 60 acres of Spring Hill based on today’s extremely low interest rates.”
Other than helping raise stones that are sinking, the families are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the stones. Phillips said Spring Hill has so many markers dating back to the 1800s that often family members cannot be located or don’t have the funds to maintain the gravesites.
That’s where individuals and groups can help.
The Illiana Civil War Historical Society also has joined with our Civil War Roundtable in this restoration effort. The group’s commander, a long-time friend and fellow living history presenter, Eugene Bencomo, said, “Some of the money that we usually donate to battlefield restoration each year was put toward this cemetery stone project, because this is such a big part of preserving our past.