Historic Gravesite Restoration on the Plumas National Forest

volunteer group shot

Twenty-four volunteers helped Forest Service archaeologists on the Plumas National Forest (PNF) survey for pioneer graves in Plumas and Sierra Counties as part of a Passport in Time project. They also helped with cemetery restorations at the historic Gibsonville and St. Louis Cemeteries located near the survey areas.

During the survey for pioneer graves, volunteers successfully located two grave sites. The first was that of Ann Eliza Cullings, who died in 1853. After her death her husband returned to New York with their daughter. The second grave was that of a miner, John P. Wilson, who died in 1858 after an avalanche smashed his cabin in the middle of the night. After crawling out of the ruined cabin, he died on the way to get help from the nearby Hopkins’ Creek settlement.

Volunteers helped clean and construct fences in two Sierra County town cemeteries, and also recorded the condition of graves in the historic cemetery of Port Wine in Sierra County. In the Gibsonville Cemetery, know to have been used for more than 100 years beginning in the 1860s, volunteers helped build and paint a fence that runs around the cemetery. The new cemetery fence replaces the historic one which collapsed in the 1970s, and the replacement fence is built in the same style as the old one.

Volunteers also helped reconstruct two fences at the St. Louis Cemetery, clear duff and brush from around graves, and clean the headstones within the cemetery. The first new fence was placed around Evan Jones who died in 1896. The second fence encompasses the graves of Thomas Hayes, who died in 1898, and three of his sons: Charles, Johnnie and Eddie.

volunteers repair fence

Painting and fence construction at Gibsonville Cemetery in Sierra County, California.

workers repair a fence

Construction of a new fence for the Evan Jones grave site.