Courtesy of John Glaze

This rather unusual headline points out the formation of a new group named FOG, which is an acronym for Friends of Greenwood.

Greenwood Cemetery was created on May 30, 1862 when Hillsborough Cemetery Association purchased 31 acres, 1 quarter and 25 poles of land from Allen and Rachel Trimble. This was the fourth or fifth cemetery created within the town.

On July 22, 1862, the association sold about 4 ¼ acres to Lafayette Lodge No. 25 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Then, on Aug. 21, 1883, the Lodge conveyed the land back to the association, along with an additional acre.

Therefore, we have determined the name Friends of Greenwood in order to point to the desire to restore, repair and clean stones mainly put in place when the cemetery was named Greenwood, with some entry into Hillsboro Cemetery, as the Greenwood name was only used for about 15 years.

This group, which is a committee founded under the Highland County Historical Society, was formed by John T. Willis and John M. Glaze, after attending training by Cemetery Conservators for United Standards. Goals of the organization are, first and foremost, to do no damage to the stones.

There are many of these stones which are broken, severely leaning, and/or covered with botanical growth such as mosses and lichens. With methods approved by the Cemetery Conservators for United Standards, broken stones will be epoxied back together with the cracks filled in with appropriate in-fill materials. Some stones, such as those with a tablet and a slotted base have broken bases which will need to be either repaired or replaced with suitable material.

Many stones need straightened and lifted back up to the proper height above the ground. Nearly every stone must be carefully cleaned and treated with “friendly” chemicals to bring them back to near their original colors. Through age, falling limbs (or entire trees), or unfortunately, vandalism, the quantity of stones needing attention is staggering. Since few people visit the older sections of the cemetery, the amount of damage is seldom understood.

FOG is seeking volunteers to help with the work of preserving the beauty of Hillsboro Cemetery and the historic and genealogical information contained on the stones. Prior training is not necessary – volunteers will be trained on the job.

There is a wonderful feeling of seeing a monument in pieces and then put back together and restored to its former beauty. These jobs are multifold – some requiring concerted group efforts, especially with large, multi-stone monuments while other jobs can be done by one person. There is something for every type of worker preference in the cemetery.

If you are interested in this project and would like to be on our email list to be made aware of work days, please ring Highland House Museum at (937) 393-3392 and leave your name and email address plus the fact that you are interested in FOG. Alternately, you can visit www.hchistoricalsociety.weebly.com and click on the FOG button where you may access a form to sign up for our emails.

We also seek monetary donations. Chemicals, mortars, brushes, clamps and other tools all cost money and many of these cost a lot of money. Up to this point, for the most part, members of the committee have been paying out-of-pocket for materials. As a committee of the historical society, all donations to FOG are tax deductible to the amount allowed by the current tax laws. Donations can be mailed to FOG, c/o Highland County Historical Society, 151 E Main St., Hillsboro, Ohio 45133 and please notate the donation to be directed to the FOG account. Our email address is fog.hchs@gmail.com.