The restoration of the Black Walnut Cemetery was completed in 2020/2021. We thank all those who have contributed their time and energy on both the physical labor of the restoration of the cemetery and the research done to tell the stories of the families buried there.
Transformation of the Black Walnut Cemetery – after months of work by our volunteer team headed up by Project Manager Jerry Prouhet, we can see this long-abandoned cemetery take shape.
CEMETERY TAKING SHAPE
String lines the rows of the Cemetery and we start to see how the Cemetery may have looked in the 1800s.
REPAIRING AND RESETTING
With the probing for new gravestone completed, our volunteer team started the difficult task of repairing broken or fallen gravestones and obelisks and resetting them.
Probing for grave stones, finding stones for people we didn’t know were buried there, piecing together broken stones
The core volunteer team who has spent 100s of hours at the cemetery nearly every weekend in the Summer heat deserves our gratitude and appreciation: Jerry Prouhet, Steven and Deb Stopke, Tom and Anna Lange. We also appreciate the time that many other volunteers gave coming out for a day or a couple of weekends to work – every hour helped!
Project Director Jerry Prouhet and a core group of volunteers have spent 100s of hours on their week-ends cutting, hauling and burning brush to clear the cemetery. This is hard work any time, but especially in the hot and humid summer.
WHERE WE STARTED
May 2020 – Graveyard Slough – There have been major floods over the years, this year its just the rain that shows why Black Walnut Cemetery has been called Graveyard Slough over the years.
March 2020 – Jerry Prouhet and Keith Stiern spent a day clearing a path into the cemetery.
November 2019 – with the help of our Restoration Project Manager Jerry Prouhet and his chain saw, Susanne Paradis and Dorris Keeven-Franke got inside the cemetery to look around. There were quite a number of standing grave markers. There were more in pieces and likely many buried under silt and fall leaves. We have records of many grave markers, so they in there somewhere. It will take time and work to clear the land by cutting away the brush in order to locate the grave stones and restore them. Jerry says we can do it and today we started!