Sunday, September 27, 2015

St Patrick Cemetery Tour, Saturday, Oct. 3rd 2015 @ 10 am

Today's team.
Join us for our annual cemetery tour this coming Saturday.  The tour starts at the cemetery office and lasts about 90 minutes.  For the last few weeks the volunteers have been cleaning the slate stones that record the early history of Lowell's Irish pioneers.  This may be your last chance to see the 21 shamrock stones that make St Pat's unique as something not done in other early Irish cemeteries.  After this year they will no longer be uncovered.  Hear the stories Stephen Castles shooting his gun into an unruly crowd, or Rev, McDermott being locked out of his church, and the sad story of David Roche marrying his sweetheart and dying shortly after at Gettysburg.

Today was our last cleaning day.  It was devoted to the Sisters from different orders who taught in Lowell.  Our trusty team of volunteers was able to complete the the first group of stones from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who came to Lowell in 1852 and opened St Patrick's and Notre Dame Academy.  The order still teaches are both schools today.  We also did all the stones for the Sisters of St Mary of Namur who operated Sacred Heart School.  Unfortunately that leaves many of the Sisters of Charity and the second lot belonging to the SNDs undone.

A little shout out to today's volunteers.  Many, many years ago when we first began cleaning and recording the stones 2 of the first volunteers were Jim McNamara and his daughter Mary.  Jim passed a number of years ago, but Mary came to close out the final year of stone cleaning.  We were also joined by folks we met on this summer's Lowell Walks.  Katie and Bonnie showed up with tools in hand and learned stone cleaning 101.  I don't know why, but Brenda has not tired of me bringing her week after week.  We're both frustrated archaeologists deep inside.  Lastly, guest blogger Rosemary Nunally drove an hour to help out. Rosemary even stayed after the rest left to try to get more stones cleaned.   We got a lot done today and it couldn't have been done without their help.  Of course if you do drive into the cemetery on a given weekend this fall, you just might see Walter and Karen cleaning off just one more stone. 

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