Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

 

Praise From Damien Brown, "Our West End Neighborhood"

On September 19th, "Our West End Neighborhood" blog, a fairly new blog (May 2006), about the 19th Street Theatre District", a project of Damien Brown, carried a post by Damien about the "Union and West End Cemetery" blog. In the post, Damien stated that I, Everette Carr, the author of the blog, was an 'Old Allentown' resident. Of course, the cemetery is located in the "Old Allentown Historical District", but in truth, Everette Carr lives in South Whitehall Township. Damien's error is not that big of a deal, but perhaps the fact that Everette is not a native of the Lehigh Valley would make more of an impression.

In the posting on the "Our West End Neighborhood" blog, Damien stated that..."the Union and West End Cemetery blog is one of the most interesting I have come across in recent memory." That is high praise, indeed! He further pointed out that there are more than 700 Union Civil War Veterans buried in the cemetery, five Revolutionary War Soldiers and many other famous people, including Allentown's first Mayor, Mayor Samuel MacHose.

He went on to stipulate that the cemetery is maintained by volunteers and wonders why a cemetery of such historical significance, a historical landmark doesn't have a full-time staff and a visitors center.

Well, I am not sure we need a year-round visitors center, nor is it likely that the cemetery will ever have the funds to employ a staff. The cemetery is a non-profit organization and relies on donations and grants to maintain the premises. There are no paid employees. The cemetery is managed and maintained by a hand full of volunteers, most local residents with ancestors buried in the cemetery. We could use some help. We are winding down the season for this year, but come spring, 2007, we could use some help.

As for Everette; he was born in Mississippi and his great grandfather was a cavalryman with the 5th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. So, although my loyalties are with the South, I am a student of the Civil War and feel that any veteran of the War Between the States is deserving of a decent and respectful final resting place. We do what we can with limited resources, but we need additional funds and assistance.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Damiem Brown for his gracious and kind comments on his recent blog posting. If you haven't visited the blog created by Damien, "Our West End Neighborhood", you should. As I indicated to Damien, it was his blog that inspired me to create a blog about a cemetery. Damien's subject matter is much more diverse. His blog covers the 19th Street Theatre District and the surrounding area, but he is free to comment on happenings around the Lehigh Valley that effect the community in which he lives. The information he supplies is vital to the people in the community, particularly when it is political in nature, and could have adverse effects on the lives of those that live in the community.

Damien is providing an invaluable service to his neighborhood, keeping them informed on relevant issues and things that could have an impact on their lives and living conditions. His blog also carries information on the good things happening in the neighborhood. Even if you don't live in the area immediately surrounding the Theatre District, the blog could be the catalyst for action in your own neighborhood. Allentown needs neighborhood action groups that are willing to put forth the time and effort required to take back the streets and to make all the communities a better place to live and work.

What Damien is doing is a good thing, a worthwhile endeavor and other neighborhoods need to emulate this his example. Great job, Damien, keep up the good work.

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