Grave markers get renovation
Jeff Hilts, a historic marker expert, began repair work in the historic section of Zion Memorial Cemetery earlier last week.
Using a grant from the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries, Canby's Heritage and Landmark Commission (HLC) hired Hilts to complete the first phase of what is expected to be a four-year project.
According to Jennifer Giller, HLC chairperson, "Of the approximately 1,650 markers in the historic section of Zion, 134 are in need of some type of repair. This typically involves leveling or re-attaching the shaft to the base. Jeff will repair 35 of the markers in this phase, which covers all of the repairs needed in sections 1 and 8 of Zion."
Hilts should complete his work by mid-June, which will bring the HLC's total number of repaired markers at Baker Prairie and Zion cemeteries to 89.
The HLC submitted a grant request in May to begin the second phase of the Zion repairs and to host its fifth marker-cleaning event.
According to Judi Jarosh, HLC lead for the 2020 cemetery project, "We should know the status of our request by mid-month. Our plan is to have Jeff complete phase 2 repairs in late summer and to hold the volunteer cleaning in the fall."
Doug Birkeland, a longtime HLC member who has participated in the previous four cleaning events, said "removing moss and lichen is hard work, but it is gratifying to be able to read an inscription that has been hidden, in some cases, for years."
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