South Bend Cemetery planning for restoration effort - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Cemetery planning for restoration effort

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Aerial view of cemetery Aerial view of cemetery

The cemetery where you'll find a former Vice President, a founder of South Bend, and numerous Revolutionary War vets will soon be restored, if they can get the funds.

The South Bend City Cemetery has been tucked away near the Oliver Mansion since 1832. The South Bend City Council is proposing a resolution on a 5-year renovation project which would restore the cemetery to fit its original design.

Friday morning, Director of School Programs at The Center for History Travis Childs led a tour of the cemetery for city officials and council members to give them an idea of the original design.

"Just over the time a lot of the paths and roads that denoted these spiral paths, or decorative patterns got over-grown and they were soon forgotten or lost," said Childs.

Over these hundred-some years, the cemetery has been vandalized, damaged by storms, weather, and time. The cemetery was once constructed with circular plots and winding paths. Childs says the design was enjoyable for families at the time.

"When you got up to the 1880's and 90's cemeteries were actually a park. They were the only city park, and so people would come out here every Sunday. A lot of times they would have picnics on their family's loved one's plot," said Childs.

The renovation would rebuild the old design, restore damaged head stones, and trim back damaged trees. Childs told us that the project is about a matter of respect for the dead.

"There's a lot of important people that have their final resting place here and, you know, just trying to pay due respect," said Childs.

The city is still looking for the necessary funds and support to continue with the project.

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