Sep 17, 2009

New Graveside Tears

In August of 08, after about a year of blogging on conditions at Fairview, The Morning Call ran the story shown above. I did manage to organize a small meeting between the cemetery operators and the public later that fall. Yesterday I received the following comment, submitted to a posting from that period.

Patti from California has left a new comment on your post "New Graveside Tears":

My family is buried at Fairview and 2 weeks ago I visited and was appalled at the horrible conditions and total lack of maintenance throughout the cemetery. I have been trying to reach Loretta or David most of the summer and was told they had taken an extended trip out of the country. (business must be good) They seem to be back now - but still no way to actually talk to them.

My mother is 97 - plans to be buried there with her parents and my Dad. I could cry at the thought ....

I googled Fairview and was led to your blog. Loretta told me in May I could get our plot maintained if I invested in their endowment for $1000. After seeing the total lack of care there, I feel like I would be throwing the money away. What do other people think or do about this appalling condition?

I feel sorry for this family, Fairview may have been a well maintained place when the father was buried there many years ago. I believe the cemetery is in better condition than it was two years ago, but that's not saying very much. I will occasionally revisit this topic, to at least continue a small noise on behalf of these families.


ironpigpen said...

With the massive change in demographics the city has undergone, it is HARD to believe many current Allentown residents care very much about this issue.

These are not their relatives.

So, there is nothing for them to protest and bitch and cry "racism" about.

michael molovinsky said...

this is a very historic cemetery. among those buried there are harry trexler, leh's, jack mack, and other titans of allentown. the business model for old cemeteries is difficult, with perpetual care funds of 1930 not going very far in 2009. a few private citizens, including blogger chris casey, have adopted sections for which they tend, but the current management are difficult to work with. i will occasionally repost on this subject to help keep the situation in the public domain.

michael molovinsky said...

edited and reposted by blog administrator;


What do you want the citizens of Allentown to do, it is private property? This is the responsibility of the cemetery management and the families of those resting there.

I have a co-worker who lives in Saucon Valley with relatives in the West End Cemetery at 10th and Chew who said, its a shame "they" let it got to hell. "They" implying Allentown and its people when he is the jerk not tending to the resting place of the people who gave him life.

Chris Casey said...

I would like to add that Brig General James Craig, who served as a Colonel under George Washington is also buried there. He was promoted to General and served as commander of Pennsylvania forces during the war of 1812.

Lt. Nicholas Saenger, who served under Washington during the winter at Valley Forge, is also buried there. One More: Dr. Henry A. Grimm, Unit Surgeon for the 5th PA regiment during the Civil War.
Dr. Grimm was the commanding medical officer in the field during the Battle of the Wilderness. Ever hear of Shiloh?

Some men who lived History are buried in there.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
For 20 years, center city residents have been trying to get "someone" to care about these center-city cemeteries. Dogs use the open grass as toilets; drug dealers as havens. The city seems to look the other way.
But a little glory needs to go to
eight Cedar Crest College nursing students who in early Sept. donated an entire "Day of Caring" to sprucing up West End Cemetery
as best they could. Their care and commited was recently depicted in an East Penn Press story.

Anonymous said...

To Chris Casey:

Please organize a clean-up day.
Give us 2 weeks notice, and we'll be there.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 11:53, chris can be reached at