Medina seeks historic designation for Boxwood Cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Commission is working on projects, improvements for site

Photos by Tom Rivers – Stone pillars hold up large iron gates at the entrance of Boxwood Cemetery on North Gravel Road. The entrance also includes a chapel, built in 1903 from Medina Sandstone.

MEDINA – One of the area’s grandest burial grounds, Boxwood Cemetery, may soon be recognized as a historical asset, a status that could help Medina secure grants for improvements at the cemetery on North Gravel Road.

The Village of Medina and the Boxwood Commission are working with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to have Boxwood put on the state and national registers of historic places.

Kathy Blackburn, Boxwood Commission chairwoman, said a decision at the state level is expected in December. If approved, Boxwood would join three other Orleans County cemeteries with the historic designation: Mount Albion Cemetery, Millville Cemetery and Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon.

Boxwood Cemetery has many retaining walls made of Medina Sandstone. Some of the walls need repairs.

The commission was reinvigorated last year and wants to draw more people to the cemetery for events and also make needed improvements to the site, Blackburn said.

The historic designation from the state and federal government could help the village obtain grants for resetting headstones, fixing sandstone walls, fighting erosion and tackling other projects.

The commission has made progress in the past year, Blackburn said. It has replaced the door in the chapel from 1903. A house on the cemetery has been cleaned out and the commission is debating the future for the house, perhaps as a museum.

The cemetery is home to many prominent Medina residents, including S.A. Cook who operated a bustling furniture company in Medina.

Blackburn wants to see more events at the cemetery, including lantern tours. She wants to see more flowers by grave sites.

For the second year Boxwood is participating in “National Wreaths Across America Day” on Dec. 13. For $15, wreaths can be purchased and placed at the graves for veterans. For more information, click here.

“It’s remembering and honoring the fallen, and teaching our children,” Blackburn said.

She would like to have 100 wreaths in Boxwood, and expand it to other local cemeteries next year. The Dec. 13 event will also include a ceremony with the Honor Guard and a 21-gun salute.