The preservation project of the Fort Hill Cemetery that began in 2017 has been documented in photos and stories written as a historical record. The countless hours of restoring and preserving the cemetery has greatly improved its condition. The effort provides the respect to those buried here and also to their family members that still visit the site of their loved ones. The history of Fort Hill along with the history and genealogy of those early residents are also preserved for future generations.
The photos of the Fort Hill Cemetery are a form of communication to educate, inform and share with you , the viewer, the visual story of the Fort Hill Cemetery. These images are a way to record, discover, preserve and shed new light on our local history that time has almost forgotten.
Aerial photo of the Fort Hill Cemetery (Click to View)
A photo from 1965, the earliest known photo of the cemetery, was an aerial view provided by Vintage Aerial, Inc.. The company has a collection of over 18 million photographs revolving around rural communities and small farms. In Lake County, there are aerial photos from 1965 and 1973. Their website is: vintageaerial.com
Gravestone Symbols (Click to View)
A variety of symbols are engraved on some of the marble gravestones in the Fort Hill Cemetery. View the engravings and the possible meanings of each.
YouTube documentary video of the Fort Hill Cemetery story (10:31) (Click to Watch Video)
On September 16, 2020, the Daughter of the American Revolution presented Vern Paddock the “Historic Preservation Recognition Award”. The video is a documentary of Vern’s story on preserving the Fort Hill Cemetery.
“Before” and “After” photos of the cemetery restoration (Click to View)
During the summer of 2018 the overgrowth of brush and trees were removed from the abandoned cemetery grounds. In July 2019 a major project to preserve the broken and leaning gravestones was completed. The photos compare the before and after photos (2015-2020) of the Fort Hill Cemetery restoration projects.
“Before” and “After” photos of the gravestone preservation and restoration (Click to View)
Photos comparing before and after the gravestone preservation (2015-2020) of the once neglected Fort Hill Cemetery dating back to 1844. In July 2019 about 100 gravestones had been preserved that were either broken, sinking into the ground or leaning heavily. Through 2020 all of the white marble gravestones were cleaned along with a number of granite gravestones. The cleaning project should be completed by the end of 2021.
Memorial Day 2020 Photos (Click to View)
Photos of American flags were displayed at each Veteran’s gravestones buried in the Fort Hill Cemetery. Two Veterans were killed in action: Lt. Arthur Whitney, killed on March 13, 1863 in Springfield, Greene County, MO; and P.F.C. Clarence LeRoy Hagen, Jr., killed on June 17, 1944 in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Both of these two Veterans were honored with a red “K.I.A.” flag.
FORT HILL CEMETERY STORIES
Written stories about the Fort Hill Cemetery provide a way to inform and educate the reader about the history and preservation process. These stories along with the photo images enlighten the reader a better understanding to preserve our local history
“Historic Preservation Recognition Award”. (Click to View)
The Ansel Brainerd Cook Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution from Libertyville presented Vern Paddock with the award on September 16, 2020 at the Fort Hill Cemetery.
Couple’s passion for cemetery’s history seen in Memorial Day tribute (Click to Read)
Daily Herald newspaper article written by Mick Zawislak published May 22, 2020 about American flags placed at the gravestones of Veterans at the Fort Hill Cemetery.
Fort Hill Cemetery Preservation (1 of 2) (Click to Read)
Lake County (IL) Genealogical Society “Quarterly” publication article published in the January – March, 2019 issue, written by Vernon B. Paddock on the Fort Hill Cemetery Preservation.
Fort Hill Cemetery Preservation Update (2 of 2) (Click to Read)
Lake County (IL) Genealogical Society “Quarterly” publication article published in the October – December, 2019 issue written by Vernon B. Paddock on the Fort Hill Cemetery Preservation.
McHenry man’s genealogy project leads to the preservation of a 175-year-old cemetery in Lake County (Click to Read)
Daily Herald newspaper article written by Mick Zawislak published July 23, 2019 during the gravestone preservation project of the Fort Hill Cemetery.
Researcher’s quest writes new chapter for Historic Lake County Cemetery (Click to Read)
Daily Herald newspaper article written by Mick Zawislak published June 18, 2018 describing the initial restoration project of the Fort Hill Cemetery.
LOCAL CEMETERY STORIES
There has been a trend in restoring and preserving historic cemeteries throughout Lake County, Illinois. The following is a list of stories written about these cemeteries:
Hillside Cemetery, Antioch, Illinois (Click to Read)
Hope Grove Cemetery, Wauconda Township, Illinois (Click to Read)
Swan Cemetery, Fremont Township, Illinois (Click to Read)
Mount Rest Cemetery, Newport Township, Illinois (Click to Read)
Daggitt Cemetery, Moraine Township, Illinois (Click to Read)
Preserving Illinois Cemeteries!! A must read!! (Click to Read)
Important information in preserving and cleaning gravestones.