The historic legacies of some of Douglas County’s early residents are now protected at Rock Ridge Cemetery.
Many of the markers and monuments placed in this one-acre cemetery, located on top of a hill in Cherry Valley, were showing the effects of time and age. However, thanks to recent conservation efforts initiated by the County with the support of the Historic Preservation Board this historic site and the memories of those families buried there will be preserved for future generations.
During the last few weeks, specialized conservators have worked to repair, restore and conserve the cemetery’s gravesites. Headstones that were tilting or had settled were excavated and reset, while others that were cracked or overgrown were cleaned and repaired.
Work was performed on the markers for 29 community members including four wooden crosses and one galvanized marker that were restored to honor their unnamed owners. In addition, eight footstones and one family plot wall were conserved. Of the gravesites that are known, the oldest is that of Hannah Proctor who was buried in 1870, and the most recent is that of Chris Schreiber who died in 1953.
The restoration of this historic site is an example of the dedication of Douglas County and our community to the preservation of our unique shared history and heritage. Conservation of sacred spaces like the Rock Ridge Cemetery helps contribute to an understanding of our local identity and culture and can provide real-life educational experiences.