There are more than 150 cemeteries in Madison County alone, ranging from small family plots with only a handful of graves, to large cemeteries still active after more than a century.

Madison County Historical Society

Two cemetery restoration workshops are offered to those interested in the preservation of cemeteries.

The one-day workshops will be held Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old St. John’s Lutheran Church, 7201 West Main St., Maryville. Participants can register for the Friday or Saturday workshop.

Workshops include a morning classroom session followed by lunch and fieldwork, so participants gain hands-on experience in gravestone restoration. Fieldwork will be conducted at the historic Bethel Baptist Cemetery.

The expert instructors for the workshops are John Heider and Dawn Cobb. John is an accomplished cemetery preservation specialist with decades of experience. Dawn is a Cemetery Preservation Archaeologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The course costs $75 per person and includes lessons, resources, and lunch. Attendance is limited to 12 people per day. The last day to register is Friday, May 13. To register for the workshop, call the Illinois State Historical Society at 217-525-2781.

There are more than 150 cemeteries in Madison County alone, ranging from small family plots with only a handful of graves, to large cemeteries still active after more than a century. Most Madison County cemeteries were inventoried by the Madison County Genealogical Society beginning in the early 1980s, but there are others on private land that have not been recorded. Unfortunately, many of the oldest gravestones require the attention of a qualified restorer. If the stones are not cleaned properly, they can be permanently damaged.

These workshops are available through the collaborative efforts of the Madison County Historical Society, St. Clair County Historical Society, and Illinois State Historical Society.


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