1965 Aerial View of the Fort Hill Cemetery

by Vernon B. Paddock

I spend a lot of time doing research of the area in hopes of discovering information about the Fort Hill community.  I was made aware of a website by Vintage Aerial, Inc. where I discovered photos around the area between the towns of Volo and Hainesville.  To my surprise, I located a photo that looked familiar and upon closer look, I realized it was a photo that included the Fort Hill Cemetery.

This 1965 aerial view is the earliest known view of the Fort Hill Cemetery.

1965 Fort Hill Cemetery Vintage Aerial original.jpg

The original 1965 photo was of a house located on Route 120, just east of the Fort Hill Road (Fairfield Road) intersection.  Included in the photo in the upper right hand corner is a portion of the Fort Hill Cemetery.  I have identified all the gravestones with my current records.  Since 1965, another house has been built between the above house and the cemetery and the trees surrounding the cemetery have grown in size and numbers quite dramatically in the last fifty-six years.

2021 Fort Hill Cemetery satellite Google map.JPG

The current (2021) Google satellite map of the house (left) and the Fort Hill Cemetery.  Since 1965, there has been an increase in the volume of trees and also the number of burials in the cemetery.

1965 Fort Hill Cemetery Vintage Aerial original edit.jpg

This is an edit of the original 1965 photo that was cropped and enlarged to provide a closer view of the northwest section of the cemetery.  This portion of the cemetery is the original section that was established in 1847.  The vast majority of the stones are made of marble dating back to the 19th century.  Since 1902, an addition to the cemetery (out of the photo to the right) was added.  In 1920, an additional parcel of land (adjoining east of the Fort Hill Cemetery) was designated for the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, a parish from Round Lake.

The photo was from the vintageaerial.com website.  The Vintage Aerial, Inc. company has a collection of over 18 million photographs with aerial views.  The Fort Hill Cemetery photo (roll 22-BLA-8) was discovered in the 1965 Lake County, IL section of the website.