The Wadsworth chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will return to Middlefield’s Old North Burying Ground on Saturday, April 30 with a public seminar on cleaning and maintaining the cemetery.
The seminar will take place from 9 am to 4 pm and involve hands on work in the burial ground located on Jackson Hill Road in Middlefield.
Ellen Halstedt, Vice-Regent of the Wadsworth DAR, said that all are welcome to the event. “We would like to encourage any Scout groups, church groups, students, members of the public or anyone interested in helping preserve this beautiful historic cemetery to attend this informative seminar.”
While the first hour will be a tour of the cemetery, Halstedt emphasized that work will be part of the day. “Attendees should plan on wearing clothing appropriate for being outside, dress in layers, and bring something to drink”
The seminar will be led by Francis Miller, Principal Conservator of Conserve ART, an organization founded in 1999 for the conservation of three dimensional art, architecture, artifacts, and historic cemeteries. Francis also serves on the Board of Directors for the Association for Gravestone Studies, where he is active on the Conservation Committee.
The Old North Burial Ground was active from 1737 into the 19th Century. With north and south ends consisting of tombstones and grave markers and a “Potter’s Field” of unmarked graves in the lowest part between the hills, the Old North Burying Ground is a classic New England cemetery.
The cemetery was once cared for by the Middlefield Historical Society but had fallen into neglect in recent years. The DAR picked the Old North Burying Ground for a clean up day in the fall. Volunteers mowed the long grass, cleared areas around grave markers, and even got rid of brush and small trees growing up from under the tombstones.
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