Pioneer Picnic this weekend

Published 4:28 pm Monday, April 27, 2009

A historic part of Greenville is well on its way to being restored. The Pioneer Cemetery Preservation Association gathered volunteers last Saturday for a workday to scrub gravestones and further clean and tidy the Camellia City’s oldest cemetery.

This Saturday, May 2, a “Pioneer Picnic” is planned for at the site at noon.

Boxed lunches from The Chef’s Table will be offered for $10 and in the event of rain, the picnic will be held at the restaurant’s downtown location.

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“While we have made many improvements to the grounds, there is still much to be done,” said Anne Feathers, chairman of the association.

“We want people to join us on Saturday to see the deplorable conditions of some of these graves. We started this group in order that vandals, neglect and ordinary wear and tear won’t take this cemetery past the point of no return.”

Walter Parmer, who is hosting the first Parmer Scholars Reunion this weekend in the city, was one of those who worked last Saturday in the cemetery.

“I think this cemetery is an important part of our history,” Parmer said.

“Once we have gotten Pioneer Cemetery back in apple pie order, it will certainly enhance visitation for our walking tours of downtown.”

One of the most unusual aspects of the historic cemetery is the presence of several cast iron grave coverings designed and patented by a Butler County resident, Joseph Abrams.

His elaborate and ornamental designs can be found in several area cemeteries.

“There is certainly much worth preserving at Pioneer. We invite any who are interested to come out and join us on Saturday,” Feathers said.