History Preserved at Geist
The Fall Creek Township has started it restoration project of the cemeteries around Geist and Fishers.
The cemeteries that will be restored include Fort, Helms, Kinnaman, and Mt. Zion. McKay was finished in early January, while Arnett was being worked on at the time of publication.
The Fall Creek Township Board approved the $193,350 project in 2014. The most expensive cemetery to restore will be Fort cemetery, taking up 25 percent of the budget. Helms will be the least expensive and only use 10 percent of the budget. Stonehugger Restoration Company, Inc. (SRCI) has been contracted for the project, which will take two years to complete. This includes a break in the project over the summer of 2015.
According the Indiana codes for townships, each township is in charge of abandoned cemeteries. But this project will help preserve and maintain the headstones, some of which are more than 150 years old.
“I feel it’s very important to care for our cemeteries and preserve our history,” said Fall Creek Township Trustee Jeff Hern. “In the past few years, my office has worked diligently to repair and install fencing to help secure these cemeteries. I’m happy to see this project get underway and restore as much of these stones as close to their original state as possible. I would like to think the families would appreciate the respect being shown to their loved ones who have passed. We have not forgotten them.”
SRCI is cleaning, polishing and putting new bases on the headstones. This process includes taking each stone out of the ground and putting a custom base on the headstone before it goes back in the ground.
According to Hern, no stone will removed no matter what condition it is in.