Volunteer Helps to Remember the Forgotten at Local Cemetery
Parkland Cemetery Gets a Facelift
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The Parkland Cemetery sits just south of Superior and has been neglected for more than a decade.
Throughout the years it has been known by many names, but the one that stands out the most is the “Forgotten Cemetery”.
A Northland man is taking it upon himself to uncover what lies beneath an overgrown field as he works to preserve the past.
A light drizzle and gloomy skies help to convey the darkness that surrounds death and the unknown at Parkland Cemetery.
“It’s sad that they were forgotten. A lot of poor people in here, I doubt any politicians or anyone rich,” said Find a Grave Volunteer Keith Fine, as he worked to revamp the cemetery.
Fine has taken it upon himself to remember the forgotten.
“It has been called by many names. Poor Farms Cemetery, (the) Asylum Cemetery,” explained Fine.
Both of the names reflect some of the people who were mentally or chronically ill and buried at Parkland Cemetery.
The cemetery was adjacent to the Parkland Health Facility which housed a moratorium, poor farm and insane asylum.
Fine said the cemetery hasn’t been taken care of in nearly two decades and is overgrown with brush.
“I’m told years ago that there were wooden crosses and some markers in here, I’ve found none,” said Fine.
In the month or so Fine has worked on the project he has found 1,260 grave stone markers in the cemetery, and is told there may be close to 1,300.
Fine spends his free time weed whacking, raking and edging the grave stone markers as he works to bring it back to life.
It’s not an easy task though, nor is it quick.
“Unfortunately the graves aren’t marked very well. They look as though they were spray painted on or with stencils. So they are all wearing off,” said Fine.
The faint numbers are a reminder of the deceased that without the help of volunteers like Fine would forever be forgotten.
“We can honor our past, present and future by caring for the graves of our ancestors. I have a respect for the living as much as I do the dead,” explained Fine.
Although the cemetery property was annexed to the City of Superior years ago, Douglas County officials said they do own it.
They told us they will look into whose responsibility it is to keep up the property, and get back to us.
If you’d like to volunteer or get in contact with Keith Fine: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2422859