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Thinking Outside the Fence: A Comprehensive Model for Historic Cemetery Management
John Bry, CMSM

What Happened to the historic cemetery? Why are so many in a state of decline, disrepair, or abandonment? This presentation examines the root causes of historic cemetery’s struggles ranging from the lack of financial resources to land management issues. “Thinking Outside the Fence” will present the first known comprehensive model for historic cemetery management that not only includes conservation in its approach, but also addresses four other main categories such as Money, Management, Marketing, and Master Planning. Over the past four years, John Bry has visited countless cemeteries in the eastern U.S., spoken with their leadership, met with community leaders, and understands how the national death care industry operates. He began to see a pattern of need, issues, and approaches that could be applied to any cemetery of any size and any location. Using common sense approaches seen in the community revitalization world, and applying those standards to historic cemeteries, it is the hope a new national conversation on the place of these icons in the cultural landscape will emerge.

Presenter Information:

John Bry
Buffalo, New York

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4 Responses to Nationwide Cemetery Preservation Summit Abstracts and Video

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  2. Robert Wrigley says:

    My wife’s gr-gr-grandfather is a Union soldier buried there. When we visited this grave site last October we were quite dismayed at the condition and damage done to the stones by lawn mowers running over and chipping it. At the time we did not know the full history of the markers being altered in the 1930s. We would fully support the efforts to restore them.
    Would it be possible for a private citizen to be able to contribute to the restoration of their family’s marker or replacement? Perhaps a volunteer effort of those with relatives there could help accomplish some of this initiative to restore to their original condition.

    • Jason Church says:

      Dear Robert,
      The best person to talk with will be Betsy Dinger Elizabeth_Dinger@nps.gov who is a historian for Petersburg National Battlefield and Cemetery.

    • Bryan Cheeseboro says:

      Mr. Wrigley,
      I don’t know if you’ll get this message but I would be very interested to know which of the men buried at Battleground Cemetery is your wife’s gr-gr-grandfather. I am a historian and I have spent the last several years researcing the battle of Fort Stevens and Battleground National Cemetery. Does your wife have a photograph of her ancestor? That would be a goldmine. I have never seen any picture of any of the men killed at the battle.

      If you can be of help to me, my e-mail address is bryanac625@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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