by Sue Deyoe ~ August 15th, 2011
The Talkeetna Cemetery expansion had a delay through the rainy days of the past 3 weeks, according to Roberta Sheldon. She says the heavy equipment was unable to work in saturated soil but can resume on clear days.
The 9 acre cemetery was set aside as part of the original townsite and the current 5 acres-or-so has grown out of its existing available plots. Sheldon says the expansion is sorely needed and there just was no space left. The current expansion of the cemetery will be 50 feet to the G street side and another 50 feet toward private property to the north.
The area will receive topsoil and be properly marked so winter time burials won’t be as difficult as they have been in the past. Ed Yadon,of the cemetery board, has said that the clearing has helped locate some of the old grave markers that have gone unattended. He says it is the family’s responsibility to install a headstone. A marker can be as large as the family wishes as long as it stays within the confines of the plot.
There will also be a ‘cree-mains’ garden to the east of the climber’s memorial that will accommodate those that have been cremated.
Sheldon says after 30 years of dealing with cemetery records and burials, she is handing over the reins to Jodi Fitzgerald, who will continue the volunteer work of keeping burial information.
The cemetery board is an all-volunteer effort that keeps records, makes burial arrangements, takes care of spring clean up and grounds maintenance.