By MARK EVANS
Some 140 years after it closed as an active burial ground, historic Memorial Cemetery has received a face-lift.
Jacob’s Ladder Cemetery Restoration of Huntsville, Missouri, brought in by the Foundation For Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, concluded a 16-day project in the cemetery on June 22.
“We’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished,” said company president Dave Snyder. “I think we’ve met the Foundation’s goals and what they were looking for.”
The Foundation contracted with Jacob’s Ladder after Snyder made a presentation at city hall in March.
“They’ve said that we exceeded their expectations and we really appreciate that because we were a little nervous about some of this stuff because it had to be perfect,” Snyder said. “And I think that’s happened. We’ve learned a lot and I think everybody’s happy with it. They’ve already told us we can come back next year. So we’re planning on coming back the first of May, when its’ a little cooler, and we’ll be here the whole month of May. They’re kind of picking out what they want us to do next year. We’re looking forward to that. It’ll be great.
“Like I said before, everybody has been great here, in town. Some benefactor bought our ice cream for us at Sara’s. Some anonymous donor said, if we went down there, we could have free ice cream. So we did that yesterday, and that was fun. But that’s just typical of the way we’ve been received here.
“When you go into cemeteries there’s always great people involved in it. But this was really heads and shoulders above what we expected. We appreciate it very much. We appreciate the work. This is a real highlight for a cemetery restorer, to come into a cemetery like this, the oldest one in the state, as old as its is, all sandstone and stuff. We’ve enjoyed our time here.”
Snyder agreed that it presented a unique challenge.
“Oh, very unique,” he said. “There’s no place else in Missouri. You’d have to go somewhere in the northeast to find this kind of stones.
“You’d have to go to New England somewhere, to find stones of this age.
“It’s cool. It’s kind of this unique little place that has the kind of stuff you would see in the 1700s, further east, and we have it here.”