The McDonough County Voice


Oakwood Friends seek landmark status


Posted Sep 29, 2016 at 11:48 AM

By Patrick Stout- Voice Correspondent

MACOMB — The city's historic preservation commission held the first of two scheduled public hearings Tuesday on a application from Friends of Oakwood Cemetery for the burial ground to be designated as a local landmark. City Attorney Kristen Petrie told commissioners that many cemeteries in the state have been designated as landmarks.


Petrie said a city ordinance would have to be approved to make such a designation.


"A cemetery is a single property," she said. "You don't count each plot separately."


Kathy Nichols of the friends group spoke of the historical significance of many of the persons buried at Oakwood. Commission Vice-Chairman Allen Nemec said he would also like to know more about historic structures within the cemetery and the layout of its original entrance.


Deputy Community Development Coordinator Mitch Flynn said he would like to see such historic detail included in the application. "I love the project," Commission Chairman Dennis Danowski said of the Oakwood Friends' effort.


Petrie cautioned that the commission has no jurisdiction over the appearance of individual gravesites. "The design is a family choice and nothing can be dictated by the commission," she said.


Commissioners voted to resume discussion of the Friends of Oakwood Cemetery application at their Oct. 25 meeting.


In other business, Nemec reported that he and Danowski are scheduled to discuss plans for a Macomb Historic Homes recognition program with city aldermen on Oct. 10. Petrie said the program would later be formally submitted to the city council for adoption by resolution.


Commissioner Sue Scott reported that the remains of two pillars that sat in front of the historic Randolph House hotel downtown would be returned to their original location in front of the building. They had been removed during store renovations within the building.


Two weeks ago, Scott said she had been informed that construction workers were told that they could throw the pillar remains away. She and another local historian met with project workers and told them the pillars could not be removed without city permission.


Macomb's downtown square is a designated historic district, and all external structures are under the jurisdiction of state and city historic preservation authorities.


Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@McDonoughVoice.com.

The Friends of Oakwood Cemetery is a volunteer organization with a mission to preserve, protect and promote Oakwood Cemetery, a historic cemetery in Macomb, Illinois. 


The Friends of Oakwood Cemetery

  • Support the upkeep and beautification of the cemetery
  • Raise funds for the cemetery, through donations and bequests
  • Maintain contact with relatives of those buried at Oakwood Cemetery, through a newsletter and a website and in doing so enlarge support beyond present town residents
  • Develop cultural events connected with the cemetery, including tours, monument dedications or re-dedications, dramatic performances, and other events
  • Promote the cemetery as a symbol of community