Giving history a helping hand at Linwood Cemetery | PostIndependent.com

Giving history a helping hand at Linwood Cemetery

Kim Doose

Sometimes, even history needs a little help.Some prominent members of Glenwoods past received a few nips and tucks at their final resting place May 21 at Glenwoods Linwood Cemetery.Last year we raised a few eyebrows carrying shovels up here, said Jim Drolet, president of the Frontier Historical Society board of directors. For more than 40 years, the Frontier Historical Society, who sponsored the cleanup day, has played a vital role as keeper of Glenwoods history. One of the things they do is maintain the local landmark. We want to preserve the history thats here, said Drolet. In the summer, Linwood is the third-most-visited place in Glenwood and attracts tourists and history buffs from all over the country.Along with a host of other things, the master plan, now in its third year, will work on the entrance to the cemetery which includes replacing the chain-link fence with a period-looking wrought-iron piece and purchasing signs that will have more and updated information.Its a nice way to show respect for our communitys antecedents, he said.Without proper maintenance, the tombstones are overrun with native plants, overgrowth and erosion. Snowmelt runoff and rainstorms can take as much as two feet of topsoil off the gravesite, which can unearth caskets and human remains. Then you have neighborhood dogs running around with our ancestors in their teeth, Drolet said.This brings another problem. If it looks neglected, it attracts vandals, he said.While the historical society depends on private donations, grants and tax dollars to fund the master plan, they are grateful to individuals who donate their time and labor. Volunteers who came to the cleanup day straightened headstones, pruned and trimmed hedges, realigned grave markers, obliterated social trails that ran through gravesites and filled areas affected by erosion.The vision is to try to put it back as accurately as we can, said Willa Soncarty.Because the completion of the master plan will require extra funding, the board is thinking of creative ways to fund the project.Since there is no record of burials in one section of the cemetery, that area could be used for new plots, which might peak the interest of some of Glenwoods pioneer families or others who would like to buy plots there. Glenwood writer Nellie Duffy was the last person buried in the cemetery in 1997.While the idea is in its early stages, Drolet isnt sure what the public would think, and the city needs to approve any plan that concerns the cemetery.The public can also adopt a grave for $25 and agree to keep up the site for a year.This place means a lot to a lot of people, said Cindy Hines, director of the Frontier Historical Society and Museum.If you dont know what your history is, I dont know how you can move into the future.

Connie Lewis, of Glenwood, is an active volunteer in the community and has also served on the citys Historic Preservation Commission.

Willa Soncarty, of Glenwood, is archivist and registrar at the Frontier Historical Museum and writes the column Frontier Diary for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Taylor James, left, 10, of New Castle, is in fourth grade at Kathryn Senor Elementary; and Stacey James, of New Castle, works at Gran Farnum Printing and is a board member at the Frontier Historical Society.

Jim Harris, left, of Glenwood, is retired; and Glenn Vawter, of Glenwood, is semi-retired, works as an energy consultant and is on the board of directors of the Frontier Historical Society.

David Fulton, left, of Glenwood, owns FlexMagic Consulting and Lidke & Associates; and Jim Drolet, of Glenwood, is president of the board at the Frontier Historical Society.

From left, Mercedes Llamas, 12, and Natasha Thompson, 11, of Glenwood attend Glenwood Springs Middle School; Andrea Thompson, of Glenwood, works for RFTA; and Monica Cedano, 9, of Glenwood, attends Glenwood Springs Elementary.

Cindy Hines, left, of Glenwood, is director of the Frontier Historical Society and Museum; and John Hines, of Glenwood, is superintendent of Glenwoods city electric department.

Karen Harris of Glenwood, is retired and volunteers at the Frontier Historical Society.


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