WAVERLY — The Friends of Waverly Cemetery Preservation unveiled a new historical marker in Glenwood Cemetery Saturday morning in a public ceremony.
The historical marker states, “Glenwood Cemetery and Mausoleum has been placed on the national register of historical places in 2016 by the United States Department of Interior.”
Obtaining the marker has been a lengthy process, with the site having been included on the national and state registers of historic places since 2016.
“The main topic of today is on the historical marker here,” stated former Mayor Dan Leary, who addressed those in attendance as part of the ceremony. “What happens here is long hard work by the committee to get to today’s presentation. It didn’t happen overnight. It took several years and a lot of paperwork and a lot of grants. Ron Keene (president of the group) has been on somebody’s doorstep or somebody’s phone all the time. Sometimes the people he talks to probably consider it harassment, but I don’t. That’s how we get to today.”
The Friends of Waverly Cemetery Preservation, a nonprofit group of volunteers, has been working for many years to restore and preserve the village’s cemeteries.
Its mission statement states, in part: “Our objective is to restore and preserve the final resting place of our relatives and friends. We believe that these cemeteries constitute a memento of great accomplishment of the people that lived and worked here and their memory shall live on.”
The mausoleum has been a fixture of the village since 1924. According to Leary, it often went unrecognized or was the subject of speculation.
“I’ve lived in this area my entire life and we use to go down to the glen as kids for recreation. This building is just sitting here and some people use to say, ‘What is that?’ and stories would go around about the Egyptian thing. It use to scare kids that King Tut is buried here and we never really knew until the last two years, where this whole atmosphere was opened up last year or the year before. You’d be amazed if you have not been inside.”
Leary added that the community should be proud to have such a location available.
“Not every community has one of these, we are very fortunate to have such a historic spot where we are today,” he said.
Leary thanked many for the work put in to make the historical marker a reality and warned citizens to keep an eye out for vandalism.
“We look forward to your continued vigilante, watching of this very closely,” said Leary. “Something like this, tied very closely with cemeteries, makes communities concerned about vandalism which seems to run in spurts. The committee worked together several years ago to put old stones back together, epoxy and many weekends. It’s a continuing effort because these are older cemeteries, older stones, they take some maintenance with them.”
The historical marker is on the front lawn of the Waverly’s Glenwood cemetery, near the mausoleum and a rare Civil War cannon that’s been encased for display in recent years.