CLARKSVILLE, IN (May 27, 2022) – The Clarksville Historic Preservation Commission is celebrating the ending of a year-long project to renovate and preserve the historic Hale-McBride Cemetery in Clarksville. The cemetery is located off of Blackiston Mill Road near Gutford Road.
According to local historians, some of those buried in the cemetery date back to the 1700’s. Unfortunately, those same historians believe nearly three-fourths of the cemetery were lost years ago when the owners of the land built a parking lot and strip mall in the area.
“While sadly we cannot undo the wrongs of the past that were done to this burial ground,” said Clarksville Town Council President Ryan Ramsey. “We can certainly learn from them and be better as a result.”
The Town of Clarksville and the Historic Preservation Commission did just that, by helping to fund a renovation and restoration of the cemetery. IT started with the Town’s Public Works Department clearing and cleaning the site. Next, Joe Schonagel with GraveCare LLC donated his time and poured new foundations and reset each marker that remains in the cemetery. Jeffersonville Township Trustee Dale Popp then had a new perimeter fence erected and is now overseeing the care of the cemetery. Finally, the Clarksville Historic Preservation Commission placed a historical marker on the site, which tells a bit of the history or the cemetery. Nance Florist also donated a wreath for the re-dedication ceremony.
“One of my favorite lines from the popular Broadway production, Hamilton, is simple but also so powerful: ‘History has its eyes on you’,” said Ramsey during the cemetery’s re-dedication on Friday. “I think that’s so appropriate for what we are here to do this afternoon. History certainly has its eyes on each one of us here today, and we can all be proud to know that from this day forward, the souls of those who rest in Hale-McBride Cemetery will be forever more, properly remembered.”
HPC President Lynn Lewis says the commission is proud to have completed the restoration and the other many projects the HPC has completed in the last year. She says the Historic Preservation Commission has several other projects in the pipeline, including the construction of the new “Rosie the Riveter” art installation in Ashland Park. However, this cemetery renovation is extremely special.