Two Phases of Restoration Work at Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery Complete

The rehabilitation work on the historic fence at Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, including work on the Cedar Avenue main gates and Lake Street gates, as well as 12 other sections of fencing, is complete. The fence that lines the cemetery along Cedar Avenue and Lake Street was built in 1928 to pay tribute to the pioneers and soldiers that are buried there.

The completion of this work will be celebrated during an event Tuesday, May 17 at 3 p.m. at the cemetery (2925 Cedar Avenue). Speakers include Winnie Layman, the great-great granddaughter of the original owner; Gary Schiff, Council Member (Ward 9); Britta Bloomberg, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; Joyce Wisdom, Executive Director of the Lake Street Council; Chad Larson, Chair of the Heritage Preservation Commission; Sue Hunter-Weir, chair, Friends of the Cemetery and Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commissioner. During the event, a new fundraiser to support additional preservation work will be announced.

Formerly known as Laymans Cemetery, the cemetery was established in 1853 and is the only Minnesota cemetery listed as an individual landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a Minneapolis landmark and is the oldest surviving cemetery in the city. The cemetery, which is nonsectarian and ethnically diverse, was renamed in 1928 to honor the states and Minneapolis pioneers and soldiers buried here. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota placed the cemetery on its Ten Most Endangered Historic Places List in 2008 to raise awareness of the challenges of maintaining this landmark.

The restoration of this local treasure is celebrated as part of National Preservation Month. This year’s theme is "Celebrating America’s Treasures."

Published May 13, 2011

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