Mount Palatine Cemetery and Historical Society Join Forces for Restoration

For the past several years, Mount Palatine Cemetery has been under the protection of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. In the past few years, the commission has been active in controlling all the undesirable vegetation that was taking over the site. A controlled burn was done in April 2011.

Although the desire to restore the cemetery to a natural prairie was progressing, the gravestones were deteriorating and many are not even visible any longer, according to a press release from Putnam County Historical Society.

In the past few months, the state has agreed to allow the Mount Palatine Cemetery board to enter into a contract with John Heider of Monticello to undertake the project of locating and restoring as many markers as possible. Heider has done restoration work at several small cemeteries in the area. His is one of the only companies recognized by Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as qualified to do this work, according to the press release.

To cover the expenses of this restoration, the Mount Palatine Cemetery and Putnam County Historical Society have entered into an agreement. The historical society will accept donations earmarked for the project under their 501(c) classification, making it a tax deduction for anyone wanting to contribute. They will in turn use those funds to help cover the costs of the project.

Both the Mount Palatine Cemetery Board and the Historical Society are excited about the prospect of being able to restore the markers at this cemetery where burials date back to the early 1840s, the press release states.

Heider also is looking for volunteers who would be interested in working with him at the cemetery, whether with physical labor or even providing refreshments or words of encouragement, the press release states.

Source: News Tribune