Edgewood Cemetery Clean Up & Walking Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EVENT DATES: Saturday, April 13 (Cleanup), Saturday, May 18 (Walking Tour)

Learn more by contacting Cathy Skitko at 610-705-1017 or cathy@hobartsrunpottstown.org, or Kelly Fenstermacher by phone call or text at 610-506-7033 or email at kelly@historicedgewood.com.

Volunteers, Participants Asked to Dig Into Spring Cemetery Restoration Efforts

POTTSTOWN, PA – There’s been a lot of activity at Edgewood Historic Cemetery, 989 E. High St., as volunteers from various organizations prepare for the Saturday, May 18 “Women of Edgewood” living history tours with costumed re-enactors and interpreters who will share fascinating stories about some of Edgewood’s very influential women residents, dating back to the 1700s.

Kelly Fenstermacher, the volunteer who has researched the women and put together this family-friendly tour, said the first such event last fall encouraged quite a few people to volunteer to serve as re-enactors for this program. She noted that suggestions made after the first living history tour last fall were implemented in planning this second event.

“It will be shorter than our first program, and we’ll also provide chairs for those attendees who would like to rest a bit during the tour,” she said. “We’ve also arranged for a rain date of Saturday, June 1.”

Learn more by contacting Fenstermacher by phone call or text at 610-506-7033 or email at kelly@historicedgewood.com. Tickets are $20 each, or $10 for students and children. There are three available tour groups to choose from: 3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Reserve your spot for one of the three tour cycles at https://givebutter.com/WomenofEdgewood-3pm; or https://givebutter.com/WomenofEdgewood-4pm; or https://givebutter.com/WomenofEdgewood-5pm

Featured women will include Anna Maria Schoener (1753-1813), who was, Fenstermacher said, “a woman of perseverance!” The interpreter, Stacey Michaud, will reveal the story of Schoener’s three husbands – the first of whom was hanged for treason.

Guests will learn about Katherine Keim Sheppard (1891-1960), portrayed by Jacque Steinman. Shepperd worked as an educator in the early 1900s when teachers had to abide by a range of surprising restrictions.

Also featured will be Dr. Alice Keim Sheppard (1898-1972), reenacted by Tammy Vontor. Dr. Sheppard was Pottstown’s first woman doctor – who was featured in the then-popular Look Magazine.

Assisting tour guides will be Fenstermacher, Wayne Fenstermacher, and Daniel Price.

Light refreshments will be included in the tour price.

Spring Cleanup Planned for Saturday, April 13

To help prepare for the tour, volunteers are encouraged to pitch in with the now-traditional spring community cleanup from 10 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 (rain date Saturday, April 20). Tools and gloves will be provided. Volunteers who can bring and operate weed-whackers and small mowers and saws will be greatly appreciated.

The cleanup is a wonderful way for families to enjoy the spring weather together while making a difference in our local community.

Refreshments will be provided for volunteers thanks to Little Italy/The Pourhouse and Sodexo, the dining services company that serves The Hill School.

Adopt-a-Gravestone Effort Ongoing

Volunteers also continue to gratefully accept gifts for the “Adopt-a-Gravestone” program created to address the headstone toppling and sinking of many plots due to the natural passage of time, early and less stable burial methods, and the Cemetery’s serious groundhog-related destruction problem. To date these efforts funded by generous donors have allowed the Cemetery to restore nine tombstones.

Individuals who would like to help with Adopt-a-Gravestone may contact Kelly Fenstermacher (call or text) at 610-506-7033 or go to https://givebutter.com/adoptagravestone to donate directly.

Volunteers will be selling unusual, locally produced Edgewood Cemetery merchandise to benefit the mowing fund as well as Adopt-a-Gravestone. Items to be sold at both the cleanup and the Women of Edgewood tour will include three-quarter length sleeved shirts ($20 each) featuring the Edgewood logo on the front as well as a bold image on the back of “Eddie Edgewood,” the hawk who makes his home in the Cemetery’s trees, beautifully drawn by volunteer and artist Jess Grater. Other “Eddie Edgewood” items include wooden coasters, garden flags, Christmas tree ornaments, and prints.

Individuals who would like to purchase merchandise also may contact Cathy Skitko of Hobart’s Run at contact@hobartsrunpottstown.org or 610-705-1017.

All Edgewood grounds mowing and maintenance depends upon the generosity of donors and events like this planned by a small band of volunteers including staff from Hobart’s Run, a neighborhood engagement organization founded by The Hill School.

Gifts for the above mentioned and other restoration projects will be accepted with gratitude at: Edgewood Historic Cemetery, c/o 740 E. High St., Pottstown, Pa. 19464 or through the organization’s general “Give Butter” donation acceptance site at https://givebutter.com/edgewod-historic-cemetery.

Caring for the 12-acre Cemetery runs close to $20,000 a year. Unfortunately, Edgewood’s caretaker abandoned the cemetery in 2012, and Borough funds are not provided toward its maintenance. The grounds soon became overgrown — until volunteers joined forces with Hobart’s Run, a community outreach and revitalization nonprofit founded by The Hill School, to find ways to collaborate, fund, and restore this resting place.

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