HISTORIC COLLEGEVILLE CEMETERY HAS A GUARDIAN ANGEL
When fellow member of the San Joaquin County Genealogical Society told me about a man who was restoring a cemetery in San Joaquin County, I jumped to investigate. Not since the Harmony Grove Church Cemetery Restoration Project in Lockeford has there been such an undertaking.
As for the actual gravesites, Bob told me that much of the granite and most of the stencils that are used when he sandblasts the headstone inscriptions have been donated by John T. Robinson from Cornerstone Monument Company in Oakdale. Bob supplies all the labor for the headstones. The Veterans Administration will be supplying a headstone for one of the burials in the cemetery - Reverend Asbury Parks Black who was a Methodist minister and a veteran of the Civil War.
Bob has donated 100 amaryllis bulbs (naked ladies) to plant near headstones, additional fence posts, hundreds of feet of pvc pipe for the much needed sprinkler system. In reading some notes on the cemetery from the 1930’s, Bob learned that river rock had been used to surround the Walrad family plot so he brought in 100 four inch river rock to try and reconstruct the scene and has many more loads of rock to bring in. The owner of the property next to the cemetery has agreed to supply the water.
I asked Mr. Anglin if he had researched all the burials in the cemetery and could he account for all of them. He replied that he volunteered as a Family History Consultant and therefore knows the historic importance of the project. He has collected records from the San Joaquin Historical Society Library, the Haggin Museum Library, the San Joaquin County Recorder’s Office, descendants of the people buried in the cemetery. He says that he has positively identified 37 burials, but thinks that there may be as many as 50 or 60. The use of a ground penetrating radar system to locate all the burials would be ideal, if they could find someone to donate the service. If anyone has knowledge of any burial at Collegeville Cemetery or any old photos they could share, Bob is most anxious to hear from you!
San Joaquin County District 4 Supervisor Ken Vogel has contributed to this project and has planned a dedication ceremony for the cemetery in April 2010.
Bob says that there is still work to be done and that they can always use a helping hand. Interested in helping? Send an email to Bob Anglin - firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOS - Courtesy of Tim Cook, Stockton, California