19th Century Cemetery Gets Improvements

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They've been dead for longer than most of us have been alive. And now redevelopments are going on around their 19th century graves.

About 70 headstones line the "Poor Farm" Pottersfield Cemetery in Freeport. This is in plain view of where Menard's and Walmart is being built at Route 26 and Lamm Road. Stephenson County board members briefly discussed moving the cemetery, but decided to leave it where it is and just make it more attractive.

"There's going to be a four foot vern, there's going to be more than sufficient amount of landscaping around this area to make sure it doesn't become part of the development, itself it keeps it's own separate identity, says Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp."

Mayor Gaulrapp says all Poor Farm Cemetery records were lost in a fire, making it difficult to notify families about changing locations. And since the graves are so old, many farmers were buried in cloth sheets. This makes it that much harder to identify the deceased.