The Springdale Historic Preservation Foundation has completed two repair projects on historic markers.
The steps of the Bastow-Petherbridge family burial site (pictured above), built between 1885 and 1888, have been restored. The steps had been in need of repair for many years due to old age and erosion.
The burial site is along one the main roads through the cemetery.
“It’s amazing how many people come through the cemetary everyday, either walking, running, biking or driving,” said Jack Grove of the Springdale Historic Preservation Foundation board.
“There was a very large tree in the back (of the burial site) which was dead and probably would have fallen fairly soon,” Grove said. “We wanted to take that out first to prevent any damage that might occur.
The second project restored the outstretched right hand of Jesus on the cemetery’s “Sermon on the Mount” statue.
Bill Winkler of Peoria Charter Coach noticed the missing hand while biking one morning in the cemetery.
“When Jesus blessed, he was known to raise his hand up, and his hand was not there,” Winkler said. “It just broke my heart.”
Heritage Restoration and Design of Peoria was approached four months ago about repairing the 70-year-old marble statue.
“That type of marble is not indigenous to the United States,” said Michael Berlinger, president and CEO of Heritage Restoration and Design. “We have our people in Europe that have the ability to carve replica pieces.”
Winkler said it was hard to hold back his emotions when he saw the restored statue.
“I saw it two Sundays ago and I actually got down on my knees and thanked God for it,” Winkler said.
There were over 3,000 monuments that fell into disrepair was Springdale Cemetery was in private ownership.
The Springdale Historic Preservation Foundation is continuing its effort to restore and renovate the affected monuments and is accepting donations toward that effort.
More information can be found HERE.