Our Bicentennial Celebration got off to a wet start this past weekend. Although we can’t say it rained on our parade, being we didn’t have one, the weather did hold down attendance. But those who did attend the festivities at Ogle Park refused to let a little (?) rain dampen their enthusiasm.
Kudos to those who worked so hard to make a go of it. I encourage all your readers to come on out and celebrate their heritage, there will still be 12 other weekends of football to watch on TV.
Last week’s supplement to this publication should be read by everyone. Good job, Pat and staff.
To the Editor:
The Switzerland County Cemetery Commission may seem like an unlikely promoter of the Bicentennial of Switzerland County, but here is the scoop:
The Commission was established by the County Commissioners in 2008 for the purpose of locating, filing State of Indiana location and yearly reports, and repairing stones in disrepair in Pioneer cemeteries (before the year 1870) in Switzerland County. These may be farm burial sites of one grave to much larger cemeteries where an ‘old’ section is located.
From its establishment, the Commission has worked on locating and preserving these Pioneer cemeteries, which we call our ‘Outdoor Museums’ through the hard work of volunteers and the Graveyard Groomer’s crew. Last week work was completed on McCallum Cemetery, located on private property in Craig Township. This old cemetery, undisturbed for many years, contains the graves of three original Land Grant recipients, Niel McCallum, Duncan McCallum, and James Malcomson. While unusual for there to be three Land Grant recipients in one small cemetery, it is normal for us to discover graves of the first settlers in these cemeteries.
Some cemeteries, such as Old Bethel Cemetery (across the road from Bethel Cemetery in Craig Township, in a grove of trees on private property) have graves that are marked only by field stones stood in an upright position, in the usual practice of one stone at the head and one at the foot, leaving one to find the names normally only by the oral accounts of neighbors or relatives. In most Pioneer cemeteries at least some field stone marked graves are found. Many times land owners do not recognize the pattern of upright stones and move them or drive over them, but, in fact, those types of graves still constitute a Pioneer cemetery and should be awarded the same respect as other cemeteries containing engraved headstones.
So the Commission continues the work of preserving the cemeteries containing the grave sites of our earliest settlers, and we join in the excitement of being able to say, Happy Birthday, Switzerland County.
Cemetery Commission Member
Other Members: Nancy Brown Barker,
Lewis Fritter, Shila Geyman,
and Jerry Wesselkamper