Historic Marker Repair Begins at Zion Memorial Cemetery

Work has begun to repair broken markers in the historic section of Zion Memorial Cemetery — the first phase in what is expected to be a four-year project.

Using a grant from the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries, Canby’s Heritage and Landmark Commission (HLC) hired historic marker expert Jeff Hilts to restore the 134 markers that are in need of repair. This represents approximately 10 percent of the estimated 1,650 markers in the historic section of Zion.

HLC Chair Jennifer Giller said the work typically involves leveling the marker or reattaching the shaft to the base. Hilts will repair 35 of the markers in this first phase, which should take him until mid-June.

The HLC has previously restored over 50 markers at the city’s two historic cemeteries: Zion Memorial and Baker Prairie.

The HLC submitted a grant request to begin phase 2 of the Zion repairs and to host its fifth marker cleaning event, and it was approved this week, according to Judi Jarosh, HLC Lead for the cemetery project.

The HLC plans to ask Hilts to complete the second phase of repairs in late summer and hold the volunteer cleaning in the fall.

Doug Birkeland, a long-time HLC member who has participated in all four of the previous cleaning events, admitted “removing moss and lichen is hard work,” but added, “it is gratifying to be able to read an inscription that has been hidden, in some cases, for years.”

If you have questions about the HLC’s projects or would like to volunteer, please contact Carol Palmer at carolpalmer24@gmail.com.

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