Through the efforts of Stanton Lyman, Chairman of the Dedham Historic District Commission, and Peter Damon, Old Village Cemetery Committee member, a handsome bronze plaque has been installed at the Village Avenue entrance of the Old Village Cemetery commemorating its 2006 listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cemetery is now officially recognized by the Federal Government as one of the Nation’s most significant historic sites.
The Old Village Cemetery Committee, in consultation with Joe Flanagan, Dedham DPW Director, has selected the prestigious Boston landscape architectural firm, Halvorson Design Partnership, to undertake a 3-year cemetery landscape improvement plan for the Old Village Cemetery. Halvorson has extensive experience in cemetery restoration, having designed the Master Plan for Mount Auburn Cemetery in the mid-90’s, and is currently working locally with the City of Quincy and the Town of Plymouth, and a national list of clients. Ricardo Austrich, ASLA, is the team leader for Halvorson, with the able assistance of Associate, Vesna Maneva.
Above: Pictured l-r: Ricardo Austrich, ASLA, team leader for Halvorson Design Partnership, Marie-Louise Kehoe, Chairman of the Renovation Committee, Vesna Maneva, Halvorson Associate; and Joseph Flanagan, Director of the Dedham DPW
Marie-Louise Kehoe, Chairman of the Old Village Cemetery Committee, has held three informative gatherings of potential supporters at her home, and Peter Reynolds sponsored a presentation at the Blue Bunny in Dedham Center. Attendees viewed Jim Bride’s moving film about the plight of the Cemetery and the plans to restore it. More fund raising gatherings will be held throughout 2018.
The Old Village Cemetery Committee has raised nearly $250,000 en route to its 3-year goal of $1-Million for the restoration and endowment of the Cemetery. It has been largely due to the generosity of private donors like Margot Pyle, a former Dedham resident and philanthropist, and long-time supporters of Dedham Community projects, like Dedham Savings and the Norfolk and Dedham Group. Funds raised thus far have made it possible to commence early this Spring with major landscaping, and continuing stone and site restoration. The OVC Committee is hoping to raise an additional $250,000 in 2018, which will allow work to continue on stone restoration, landscaping, and ironwork around the grave sites and the perimeter of the Cemetery.
The most visible improvement to the Old Village Cemetery, to date, has been the beautiful cleaning and restoration of the monuments by conservators Kevin Duffy and David Ray. The freshly whitened and repaired stones emerging from centuries of grime and erosion have dazzled passers-by. Work has begun anew with the Spring, and will continue until completion.