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May 27, 2014. - Memorial Day Service Activities.

It was a beautiful day with mild temperatures anf full sunshine. At 10;30 a.m. the American Legeion laid flowers in front of the monument in soldier's rest area surrounded by the graves of Civil War veterans. The speaker gave a short presentation which was follow by a volly of gun solutes. Afterward the special activeties began. Dee Wackman acted as master of ceremonies, and called to the attention of everyone to the new signage of the cemetery that adds Soldier's Rest and Pioneer residents buried at the cemeter. The Tri City Chorus of Sweet Adelines filled the air with a series of patriotic songs. Next Eric Jylha, local historian, read President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The final event was a memorial honoring the Civil War veterans done by Members Post #67 of the Grand Army of the Republic. These activies are capture on a video on YouTube, at Memorial Day 2014

May 24, 2014. - Memorial Day Service at Pine Ridge.

Following the American Legion service on Memorial Day, there will be a special ceremony at Pine Ridge Cemetery that will include a choir and speakers providing some history about the cemetery.

May 21, 2013. - Pine Ridge Receives Special Help.
-- Pine Ridge Cemetery got a much needed hand from Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity. Volunteer Ron Grahamn has been caring for the cemetery pretty much on his own for the past year or so. While buying some supplies for the cemetery at Home Depot he was approached by one of managers who became of aware of his work at Pine Ridge, and said he may be able to give him some help through Home Depot's national out reach program that is focused on aiding veterans this year. He submmitted his project request to headquarter and it was approved. Nearly 7,000 dollars worth of material and equipment were given to the cemetery. On the 21st around 75 employees from Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity were on hand do work around the cemetery, including landscaping of the monument in the Soldiers Rest area. Ron now has sufficient supplies and equipment. Now we need more public volunteers to give him a hand. A video of day's events may be seen at {YouTube}

June 4, 2012 - New Dimensions Annual Cruise.

June 4, 2012 - New Dimensions Annual Cruise.
-- Make plans to enjoy a cruise along the Saginaw River on the Princess Wenonah on August 22, 2012. The cruise will feature music by the Juice Roosters, a meal catered by Atrium Restaurant, and door prizes. All of this for only $30. Proceeds will go towards New Dimensions fund raising campaign to upgrade their fleet of vehicles. [Information]

May. 29, 2012 - Memorial Day Service.

Feb. 14, 2012 - Delta College Students Restore Grave Sites.
-- Last summer Delta College students from the engineering class of Dave Bledsoe, spent two weeks in repairing and restoring over a dozen grave sites at the cemetery. Their work was outstanding and has done much not only to the grave sites they fixed, but to the overall look of the cemetery. The following video was just created showing them at work.

June , 2011 - Third Annual Dinner-Dance Cruise.
-- Mark July 20th on your calendar to be on board the Princes Wenonah for New Dimensions' annul dinner-dance cruise. Tickets are only $30 each and are available at New Dimensions, Inc., 2 Johnson Court, Bay City, 48708 or call 989-892-8833.

May 31, 2011 - Memorial Day at Pine Ridge Cemetery

Solders Rest

-- Besides the normal memorial service, there was an unveiling of a new plague awarded to the cemetery from the Historical Society of Michigan. The plague was applied for by Dave Rodgers and funded by the Bay City Rotary Club.

The plague reads:

MICHIGAN
SESQUICENTENNIAL BUSINESS

THIS PLAQUE IS ISSUED BY THE
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN
IN RECOGNITION OF
HISTORICAL PINE RIDGE CEMETERY
A CIVIL WAR BURIAL GROUND

FOUNDED IN 1858
FOR MORE THAN 150 YEARS OF
CONTINUOUS OPERATION IN SERVICE
TO THE PEOPLE OF MICHIGAN
AND FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND VITALITY
OUR OUR STATE.

Pictured with plague are volunteers Dee Dee Wacksman, Jeremiah Franks, Marvin Kusmierz, Alan Flood, and Patsy Powell, of New Dimensions, present care takers of the cemetery's grounds. [Videos by Fred Welsh]

May 16, 2011 - Cemetry Clean Up Day On May 20th.
-- On Friday, May 20th, New Dimensions will be leading clean up day activities at the cemetery, and is seeking volunteer help from the public. Those willing to give a hand need only to show up at the cemetery and if possible, bring a few gardening tools to rake and bag up debres, or flowers to plant around the gounds.

July 9, 2010 - Bus Tour of Pine Ridge Cemetery.
-- Dave Rogers has been doing bus tours of Bay City's historical places, which included Pine Ridge Cemetery captured in the following video:

June 27, 2010 - Enjoyable Fundraising Cruise.
-- Last year New Dimensions launched a fundraising dinner cruise on the Princess Wenonah that was most enjoyable and such a success that we plan on repeating this event annually.
-- Details for this years events:

May 31, 2010 - Memorial Day, Headstones Dedicated.

(click to enlarge)
-- Memorial Day Service at abandoned Pine Ridge Cemetery was quite special again this year. Included as part of the ceremony was the formal dedication of new headstones installed at the grave sites of Civil War soldiers McCormick and Wilson. The special ceremoney was performed by the U.S. Grant Post, No. 67, Grand Army of the Republic (Bay City) and the LeValley-Heusted, Camp #255, of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (Mayville). Over the past two years over 30 worn heads of veterans have been replaced through the efforts of Jim Petrimoulx, a historian and volunteer the cemetery.

May 19, 2010 - Cemetery Plat Map Avialable.

(click to enlarge)
-- A large plat map of Pine Ridge Cemetery is now available to visitors at Pine Ridge Cemetery. It is located on the backside of the main entrance sign. Also posted here is a "walking tour" sign with history on some of the people buried at the cemetery. The signs were install by Marv Kusmierz and his son Tony, whose appears in the photo.

March 23, 2010 - Cemetery Clean Up Days.

After a slow start much has been accomplished in the past two weeks at the cemetery. On May 14th a small army of volunteers merged at the cemetery for a special clean up day, and this past Saturday, a group of high school students came into to finish the job.

Enough cannot be said about how much the work of these volunteers is appreciated. Also, a thanks goes out to the Bay City Times newspaper for publishing an article in advance of the clean up days. Many of the volunteers came as a result of seeing the article.

A large contingent among the volunteers, about 25, were workers from New Dimensions. One of the volunteers was from as far way as Clinton Co., he showed up with a bobcat tracker and worked in the wilderness area of Seaman cemetery, moving huge stumps into pile for burning later, also cleared a path for access this area.

New informational signs have been added to the backside of the main entrance sign. One is a large plat map of Pine Ridge Cemetery and the other provides a brief history of some the pioneers buried there.

A special Memorial Day Service will follow the ceremony of veterans' groups, afterwards a history cemetery tour take place. Join us if you can.

Video of these activities can be seen at [You-Tube]

March 29, 2010 - A Year of Progress, Another Year of Promise.

Much progress was made during 2009:

New Dimensions is a non-profit organization, and their mission is to provide handicapped individuals with work for a meaningful life . Their work at the cemetery has been outstanding, and have brought a personal touch of attention to details, such as grooming of individual headstone, for the first time in many decades. -- Donations towards the preservation of Pine Ridge Cemetery should now be sent directly to New Dimensions. All donations are tax deductible.

Plans are underway for this year's Memorial Day Service, which we hope will match or exceed the enthusiasm and quality of last year's service. A video of which can be seen on [You-Tube]

We are hoping to extend our watering system to additional areas in the cemetery to make it easier to maintain family burial sites. Last year we mapped out the old pipelines which were not in service, and may need to be replaced. We are looking for assistance from the public to finally make this happen.

You can help forward the progress of improvements at Pine Ridge Cemetery by spending a some time grooming around the cemetery. This can be done on your own initiative and at your convenience. It's also a good family or group activity as a way of sharing your respect and appreciation to the pioneers of our community buried at Pine Ridge Cemetery.

October 15, 2009 - Important News And Changes!

Read the following brief story on changes that have taken place at Pine Ridge Cemetery:

Abandoned Cemetery Gets "Bay City In Bloom Award."


Left to Right: Terry Moultane, Dave Rogers, Judy Jeffers, Jerri Gavord.

Bay City, Mich. -- A bit of history was made on September 17th, as a small crowd gathered at Pine Ridge Cemetery, located on the corner of Ridge and Tuscola roads. The cemetery has been legally abandoned since the death of its last owner, George Ames, who died in 1931. The crowd came to see the presentation of the "Bay City in Bloom" award to the caretakers of the cemetery, which appears to be the first time the award was ever given to a cemetery.

On hand to accept the award was Dave Rogers of the Friends of Historic Pine Ridge Cemetery, and Jerry Gavord of New Dimensions, Inc. Presenting the award was Terry Moultane, Bay City engineer and Judy Jeffers of the Bay County Historical Society.

Pine Ridge was established in 1858, a year after Bay County was organized. The cemetery's founder was Judge James Birney, a prominent politician in Michigan, who also served as Minister to the Hague. Upon his death, the cemetery continued to operate under ownership of the Birney family until it was sold to George Ames in 1900. After his death the abandoned cemetery was maintained by Charles Cuthbert, who worked as the cemetery's sexton under George Ames. Cuthbert died in 1952 and during the subsequent years various citizen's groups attempted to maintain the cemetery's grounds. However, the cemetery suffered from over growth during time gaps between these citizen groups.

The Friends of Historic Pine Ridge has been able to make much progress in restoring the cemetery, even repairing some of the many damaged headstones, and replacing nearly 30 illegible headstones of Civil War veterans in the past two years. However, this small group has struggled annually to obtain sufficient funding to address all needs to fully restore the pioneer cemetery.

New Dimensions, Inc, has stepped forward to take over care of the cemetery from the Friends of Historic Pine Ridge, which will disband at the end of this October. This is a blessing that is expected to provide the cemetery with some long-term security, and a better means of funding.


Lynn Snyder of New Dimensions (far right) with some of their workers.

New Dimensions is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to assist disabled citizens of the community in finding work and for a meaningful life. They became aware of the needs of Pine Ridge Cemetery and determined it would fit in as a valuable work source, complementing their stated mission. Workers from New Dimensions have been maintaining the grounds a little over a month, and the results of their work has been outstanding.

To learn more about New Dimension, Inc., visit their [Website]

_______________

This is extremely good news as these changes come at a critical juncture in the history of Pine Ridge Cemetery. Donations to this cause have dwindled considerably in the past few years, and in May this year, we lost the lawn care services provided by the Parmenter House, a service we deeply depended on. While we were able to get help from the work force, this required us to provide a full-time supervisor during their time at the cemetery. The group comprising the Friends of Historic Pine Ridge are all up in years, and unable to cope with the physical demands of this change. As a result, plans were underway to disband the group at the end of the year.

Out of the clear blue sky came a call from New Dimensions saying they were interested in taking care of the cemetery, using it as a work source for some of the disabled people they are committed to helping. Since July they have taken over the lawncare responsibilities providing their own supervisor. Their work has been exceptional and outstanding, and has gone beyond normal mowing and raking. They are also tidying up areas around headstones, cleaning the family plat cement borders, and other details previously left for another time. Reasonal expectations are that Pine Ridge Cemetery will in the not too distant future, be as well groomed, if not better, as any other cemetery in this area.

You can still participate in the Pine Ridge Cemetery preservation project by contacting New Dimensions, offering your time, materials and/or a monetary donation to this cause.

Historically, Pine Ridge Cemetery was designed to have a park-like appearance, full of flowering beds, it's pathways are all named after plants. It would be marvelous, if we could capture that image again, turning Pine Ridge Cemetery into a sanctury of respect for the pioneers here, and as a place where the public can go to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and its beautiful serene surroundings. -- View the below original plat map design:


{Click to Enlarge.}


Dave and Delores Rogers

Finally, a special thanks to Delores and Dave Rogers for their years of dedication to the cemetery, as founders of the Friends of Historic Pine Ridge Cemetery. Because of their repect for history, and appreciation of the sacrifices made by the early pioneers of our community, they have been able to keep the cemetery in service for well over a decade. Thanks also goes out to the many volunteers, businesses and interested parties who responded this cause with their time, materials, services and money.

June 18, 2009 - Monthly Cemetery Heritage Tours.

On Saturday, June 27th, "Last Saturday of the Month Heritage Tours" will begin at Pine Ridge Cemetery. The guided tour will visit historical grave sites of prominent pioneers, including their history. The monthly tours will be provided through the October.

Tours will begin near the front entrance at 2:00 p.m. Cost: $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children. In case of cancellation due to weather, the tour will be held on Sunday.
- Procedes will go towards cemetery maintenace. Larger donations will be greatly appreciated.

May 25, 2009 - Memorial Day Ceremony a Great Success.

This years Memorial Day Ceremony will be one that'll be remembered for many years by those who attented. The largest crowd we've had in recent years turned out to on a beautiful day to be present activities which began at 10:30 A.M. with a veterans service by the American Legion.

Afterwards a guided tour of historic grave sites was given by local historian Dave Rogers. Included in the tour was the grave site of Judge James Birney, founder of Pine Ridge Cemetery.

At noon a speical ceremony was held dedicating the improvements made to Soldiers Rest. The formal military service was preformed by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War camps from Mayville and Flint. Adding to this patriotic songs performed by the Tri-City Sweet Adeline Chorus, bag pipe music by Dr. Harry Farrist, cannon salutes by Gene Gillette, and comments from several speakers.


The Friends of Historic Pine Ridge Cemetery committee wishes to extend our appreciation to the volunteer workers, sponsors and participants in the Memorial Day Ceremonies. Your contributions and admiral sacrifies to save this abandoned historic burial grounds pays honor to the memory of pioneers and veterans who contributed to much to our community. -- Thank you.

{Article} by Dave Rogers of MyBayCity.com detailing Memorial Day activities.

May 18, 2009 - Prepartions for Special Memorial Day Ceremony.

The Goal.

The focus of volunteers each spring is to get the grounds in good shape for the Annual Memorial Day ceremony in held in the Soldiers Rest area. Typically this involves, removing leaves from the fall season, fallen branches from winter storms along with lawn mowing and trimming around headstones.

Rain Delays.

The raining weather this spring has made it more difficult than usual. The land slopes downward from Ridge Road with the water draining to south end where our utility shed is located. The shed was surrounded by a small lake after heavy rains making it impossible to get to equipment for a number of days afterwards. The frequency of rain days kept this area muddy requiring planks of wood to be laid down to accessing it.

Debris Burned.

One of the two large debris piles in the south east section of Seaman cemetery was burned clearing up an area where known burials are located. We are planning on getting another burning permit to clear the other pile before summer arrives.

Stump Removal.

The abundance of wild trees and old trees represents the greatest challenge to enhancing the overall condition of the grounds. Many growing near or next to headstones making lawn care more difficult and are a threat to toppling some of these markers. Also affecting lawncare are over a hundred dead tree stumps, which we began to remove this spring using a pick and shovel. We hope to be able to cut these burial areas without doing damage to our limited number of lawnmowers. We are in need professional tree cutting-trimming donated services or monetary donations to pay hire the service.

Bricks and Mortar.

Volunteer Teddy Anderson took on the challenge of building a solid brick border around the garden at the entrance to Pine Ridge. He also repaired the base of the GAR Monument which had deteriorated over the years. He is now working on building a brick platform for the small cannon display in the north west corner of the cemetery.

Regular Lawn Crew Leaving.


Frank Hoese

For years the teenagers from Parmenter Halfway House have been doing the bulk of lawn care, hand mowing the grounds and trimming around hundreds of headstones. Their service, which has been instrumental in improving the grouns, will be over at the end of the month due to cut backs in this State sponsored program. Our thanks and deep appreciation goes out to the teens for their service and to Director Frank G. Hoese and supervisors Don and John.

Preparing Soldiers Rest for Memorial Day Ceremony.

Besides repairing the GAR Monument foundation, the rusted flag pole installed in 1928 was painted courtesy of Steve Dawson who donated his time and service.

Jim Petrimoulx has been heading up a project to replace worn out Civil War headstones with new ones from the Veterans Administration. Several were installed throughout the cemetery last year, and this past weekend a volunteer crew was put together to install another 28 markers which had been stored over the winter at Wright Gregory Monuments, who delivered the headstones earlier in the week.

On hand to help dig out and install new these new headstones was H. R. Doud Division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corp based in Saginaw, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, LeValley-Heusted Camp, No. 255, based in Mayville.


The crew was shocked when they began to dig out the old headstones in Soldiers Rest, each had cement foundation that was about 2 ½ square and 3 feet deep. Unable to man-handled their size and weight, Kreager's Towing was called in to see if they could be pulled out with a wrecker. Operator, Chuck Knapp, skillfully removed each headstone maneuvering through the series of good headstone without damaging a single one of them.



What was anticipated to be a day long project will now take several days before installation of the new headstone will be complete. Our plans to have the Soldiers Rest in tip top shape for Memorial Day will not be realized as much of the ground is torn up from having to drag the old headstones across the lawn.

However, the GAR Monument foundation is now repaired and a newly painted flag stone along with the new headstones represents a significant accomplishment. In addition a new garden with red, white and blue flowers dresses up the area in front of the cannon thanks to Cathy Obrien, a new volunteer.

Memorial Day Ceremony.

The Special Memorial Day Cermony will begin at 11: A.M. On May 25th, with a guide history tour of the cemetery. At noon the formal ceremony will begin. Participating in the ceremony will be Charles Brunner, mayor of Bay City, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War from the Mayville post, include music and other special activities. We hope you will join us in honoring the memory of the veterans interned at Pine Ridge.

Special Thanks.

We deeply appreciate of the work done by all of the volunteers who participated in spring clean up. Your efforts are slowly returning Pine Ridge Cemetery into a respectable memorial to pioneer settlers of our community. Many of whom are from the first and second generation of pioneer families who came to this wilderness area in the mid-late 1800s.

The Friends of Historic Pine Ridge Committee:
Dave Rogers, Deloris Rogers, Jim Petrimoulx, Jim Thompson, Alan Flood, Dee Dee Wacksman and Marvin Kusmierz.

April 20, 2009 - Only A Few Answer Call for Spring Cleaning Effort.


Mar., 2009: Isolated headstone in dense
wild growth in the south end of Seaman.


Small spring lake only a few
yards from the above headstone.


Apr., 2009: Volunteer sawing up
a large tree that fell this past winter.

The call for volunteers to help with spring clean up of the cemeteries scheduled for April 18-19, was a disappointment. In spite of the advanced public notice, the only ones present were the regular crew of volunteers, consequently much yard work remains to be done before regular lawn mowing can begin.

Last year we were able made good progress. We were able to replace 22 old veterans' headstone with new ones, and a handful of other toppled headstones were repaired. More burial sites in covered by wilderness have been reclaimed for regular grooming. However, the the forest and brush in south end of Seaman cemetery remains a challenge yet to be overcome.

The poor economy is having a direct impact on resources essential to the care of these cemeteries. Fewer and smaller monetary donations have been received so far this year. Unless sufficient funding is forthcoming, cut backs in lawn care will have to be made.

Also in jeopardy, is the long-term care of these cemeteries! The present group of regular volunteers are up in age, and are limited physically, financially, and in years left to continue their efforts. Unless new and younger volunteers join in this cause, decades of progress will be lost once again.

With so many young people unemployed, I can't help but wonder why more are not filling their time doing volunteer work? And, why many who are financially well-off are not giving more to needy to those in need of help?

The fact that few are trying to make a difference isn't unique to the current generation. There has been a declining community interest in the Pine Ridge cemetery since it was abandoned 84 years ago. The historcial struggle to respectfully maintain the large number of Civil War veterans burial sites was recently highlighted in an article by Dave Rogers. -- [MyBayCity.com/Article]

A quote by the late Dr. Martin Luther King bears repeating...

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

by Marvin Kusmierz

Apr. 1, 2009 - Help Needed for Spring Clean Up of Burial Grounds.

It's been a long hard winter.
As a result a number of trees have been damaged and there are many broken branches laying around the cemetery grounds. We are asking help from anyone who can give a portion of their time to help pick up branches, rake leaves and put them into piles for picking up later by regular volunteers. There is no set date or time for doing this, it can be done whenever its convenient for you.

Are you interested in free fire wood?
We have many trees that need trimming or cutting down, and old stumps to be removed so lawn areas can be mowed. This is a major problem that has kept us from maintaining a large number of burial sites. Contact us if you can be of help in solving this dilemma!

More help needed with headstone repair project.
While we have been making progress repairing toppled headstones, the overall condition is beyond our present means to keep up with ongoing damage being done. We need a greater effort and are seeking volunteers with lifting equipment to upright leaning monuments, and also the resetting and mortaring of block boarders that surrounds many family plats which are rapidly deteriorating.

Honor a pioneer by adopting a grave site.
The vast majority of burials in Pine Ridge cemetery no longer have family living in this area to take care of individual grave sites. About the only care they get is from a lawn mower speeding by, or an occasional touch up with yard trimmer. If you are bored, have some free time, or would pay respect to the early pioneers of our community, consider adopting one or more of the many abandoned pioneer graves, and provide them a personal grooming. Share a few flowers from you garden add fertilizer, and an occasional watering. Make it a family or group affair. In no time the old beauty of this park like burial grounds will reappear as an attractive setting for peaceful recreation.

Feb. 26, 2009 - A New Year and More Work To Be Done!

Spring will soon be here and soon we'll be able to continue our work at Pine Ridge and Seaman cemeteries. Considerable progress was made last year improving the over all conditions of Pine Ridge and Seaman cemeteries, a few of these were:

One of our priorities for early this year is the removal of the many stumps that have been keeping us from being able to mow grass in a number of areas, where burial sites exist and have been neglected for many years.

Trees in general are an ongoing problem. Many need trimming of dead branches and cutting back so the lawn mowing crew can more easily do their job. And, we still have a growing forest in the Seaman cemetery that needs to thinned out.

Another goal for this year is address some of the problem conditions in the soldiers rest area. A new foundation needs to be poured to the veterans' monument to prevent it from decaying and further and topping to the ground. The large flag pole nearby is rusting, and we are hoping to find some one with a lift-bucket so it can be painted.

Jim Petrimoulx has ordered more replacement headstones which will complete the project began last year.

On our wish to do list needing volunteer help are the following:

It bears repeating, Friends of Pine Ridge Cemetery group is an all volunteer group, it is not an official organization! There are about a half a dozen regular volunteers who are committed to preserving these cemeteries. The system is very informal and calls upon anyone who cares to get involved to extent they can by simply doing what ever they can when ever possible. No permission or formal commitment is required. Deloris and Dave Rodgers on their own initiative began this program and act as the interface source for collecting donations. Donations towards this cause can be sent to:

Friends of Pine Ridge Cemetery
4659 Dale Court
Bay City, MI 48706

Nov. 7, 2008 - More Progess Made on Headstone Improvements.


(1) Spire reset. (2) Finding headstones. (3) Resting markets.

Image 1: Tom Moultane, owner of Wright-Gregory, has been a Friend of Pine Ridge Cemetery for a long time. Just recently he reset the spire on the McDonald family grave site. Pictured (L-R) are: Jim Thompson, another volunteer working on resetting markers; Ron Bloomfield, Curator of Bay County Historical Society; Alan Flood, historian who is working on documenting the burials in both Pine Ridge and Seaman cemteries.

Image 2: We have spending more time in search of missing pieces of monuments and headstones, after surprisingly find a large spire top buried nearly foot beneath ground. On Friday a small group got together to reset smaller sunken stones and do some probing with an iron rod looking for more buried pieces. Several more were found and we are now believing many more will be found in time. Picture (L-R); Jim Petrimoulx and Alan Flood digging for a missing piece.

Images 3: This is the family burial site of James McCormick. Earlier Jim Petrimoulx, Alan Flood had replaced to deteriorated headstone of two McCormicks that were veterans of the Civil War, which can be seen to the left and right of the large family marker. To the right are three small headstone that were sunken in the ground before being reset.

Oct. 15, 2008 - First Civil War Replacement Marker Installed, Toppled Headstones Repositioned.


(1)McCormick marker (2) Ward marker before (3) Ward marker repaired (4) Tree trunks (5) Wild growth

On October 13th, Jim Petrimoulx and Alan Flood installed the first Civil War replacement headstone, on the grave of 1st Lt. Achibald McCormick, who died June 25, 1864 (Image 1).
-- That evening, Jim Thompson, who has taken on the task of resetting toppled headstones, reposition the toppled spire on the marker of William A. Ward's family plat (images 2,3). This involved repairing the spire which was split in two.
-- Both of these initatives are important first steps in addressing the issue of damaged burial markers. However, additional workers and resources are needed to expedite the progress of these projects.
-- Other major problems needing more support involve the removal of trees whose trunks are threatening headstones (Image 4), masonry work to headstone foundations, and removal of small tree stumps in overgrown areas so they can be mowed (Image 5).

Oct. 12, 2008 - Update: Project Underway to Replace Civil War Veterans Head Stones.


(1) Soldiers Rest (2) Jim Petrimoulx (3) Jim Moultane - head stones.
-- (Photos courtesy of MyBayCity.com)

New Civil War Head Stones.
Many of the head stones of Civil War veterans at Pine Ridge cemetery have been unreadable for a very long-time, but that is about to change thanks to the dedicated effort of Jim Petrimoulx. Jim with help from Alan Flood has been documenting the burials of Civil War veterans at Pine Ridge and neighboring Seaman's cemetery. As a result, Alan learned that the Veterans Administration has a program to replace worn head stones of veterans for free, and Jim without hestitation took on the task of filing for replacement of 23 head stones for veterans at Pine Ridge. They arrived about a week ago, and are being stored at Wright Gregory thanks to owner Tom Moultane. -- Read article by Dave Rogers at [MyBayCity.com]


Some of the difficult work required to reposition/repair toppled head stones.

Repair Work on Head Stones.
One of the most difficult and important tasks is finally being addressed. Jim Thompson is leading a small group of hardy volunteers that are taking on the challenge of repositioning head stones that have toppled over the years by senseless vandalism or the forces of nature. The the difficulties of the task they've undertaken cannot be overstated. How much they are able to accomplish will depend largely on what help and support is given to this work and will add to the generous work done by Jim Moultane, of Wright Gregory, in this regard.


Aug. 2008: Overgrowth looking south into Seamans.

Nature Reclaims Portion of Seaman Grounds.
Much of the hard work done in clearing overgrowth inside Seaman's cemetery earlier this year, was quickly undone by excellent weather that nurtured rapid growth and overwhelmed our earlier effort. The area could not be mowed regularly as it is full of small and large tree stumps. Our goal is to have these stumps removed as quickly as possible by next summer so the area can be more easily maintained allowing for further discovery of burial sites. We are in need of younger persons to help dig out the small stumps and the use of stump removal equipment for the larger ones.

Aug. 11, 2008 - River Boat Cruise to Benefit Soldiers Rest Monument at Pine Ridge.


Decaying foundations & recent Vandalism.

Benefit Cruise.
The Bay City Boat Lines will be hosting a river cruise on Aug. 21 with a portion of the proceeds to go towards the repair of the Soldiers Rest Monument at Pine Ridge. We encourage you to use this occassion to contribute to this this cause. The cruise cost $25.00 per person which in includes snacks and beverages along with a cash bar. Eric Jylha will provide a historical narration during the cruise. Can't think of a better way to learn about our local history and enjoy an evening cruise up and down the Saginaw River. -- Read article by Dave Rogers at [MyBayCity.com]

Help Needed!
Pine Ridge and Seaman cemeteries are in need of "more" volunteers and monetary donations. While much has been done this year a greater effort is needed to address grooming around headstones and other lawn maintenance beyond the scope of our volunteer grounds keepers. We are asking people to adopt a grave site or two and periodically groom them in the absence of family members who would normally do this.

Some Pending Good News...
-- We may at last see some progress in the repair and/or relocating of the many headstones that have been damaged over the years. Plans are to set a work date yet this year if at all possible.
-- In addition steps have been taken through the Veterans Association to begin replacement of some of badly worn headstones on the graves of soldiers.

July 12, 2008 - Pine Ridge Lawn in Good Shape. Seaman Progress Slow but Fruitful.

Many visiting Pine Ridge cemetery notice and are appreciative of the improved appearance of the burial grounds. We can be thankful to the teenagers from the Half Way House for their contribution in providing this lawn care. Their task hasn't been easy as they have been doing the job using only hand push mowers. However, thanks to some new donations, a riding lawnmower has been purchased which will help reduce some of their effort.

Seaman cemetery is still in very rough shape, but some progress has been made. A a portion of the grave sites has been cleared and can now be mowed on a regular basis. The most recent primary challenge has been to stay one step ahead of nature. Warm weather and an abundance of rain has made this difficult. The surge of new growth is now well above one's eye sight. We can use help from anyone willing to cut down some trees and brush, remove stumps, shred debrie, etc.

  • Picture - Family plat that was once covered by overgrowth, but is still surrounded by a field of wild lillies. On left and back are debris piles of tree branches yet to be removed. -- This is excellent starter wood for a fire and is free for hauling it away. Also, plenty of free lumber available for cut it down.
    May 28, 2008 - Photo Essay Showing Deplorable Condition of Seaman Cemetery.

    A special photo essay page on Seaman Cemetery has been added to the Main Page. It includes a series of photos taken from the south edge of Pine Ridge looking south into Seaman. While much work has been done, more volunteers are needed to help clear the wild growth that has consumed much of the cemetery.

  • View {Seaman Photo Essay}

    May 26, 2008 - Memorial Day Services.

    Overcast skies and rain posed threaten Memorial Days services. However, the skies cleared up by 10:30 a.m. for the Bay County Veterans Council service at Pine Ridge and remained so for the special service at noon. The cemetery and Soldiers' Rest area looked its best in some years thanks to the efforts of many volunteers over the past few weeks to get grounds in as good a shape as possible for Memorial Day. Decorative red, white and blue ribbons, and small flags adorned the new white fencing at the cemetery's entrance. The same color scheme were represented in flowering bouquets dressing up the Soldiers' Rest monument.

    Entrance decorations prior to services:

  • Photos: (1) Sign greeting vistors. (2) Fence on right side of entrance. (3) Fence on left side looking towards intersection of Tuscola & Ridge roads.

    10:30 a.m. Service:

  • Photos: (1) Soldiers' Rest area prior to ceremony. (2) Parnoramic view. (3) Members of Bay County Veterans Council lowering flag to half mast. (4) Service ready to begin. (5) Bugler and firing squad.

    12:00 p.m. Ceremony:

  • Photos: (1) Dave Rogers sharing historical background of cemetery. (2) Eric Jylha presenting special reading. (3) Dr. Harry Farris playing bag pipes.
    May 24, 2008 - Workers Prepare Cemetery for Memorial Day Service.

    Saturday was a busy one at Pine Ridge Cemetery as volunteer workers spent the day preparing the 150 year-old historic burial grounds two Memorial Day events:

  • 10:30 a.m - Bay County Veterans Council Service.
  • 12:00 p.m.- Special ceremony led by Eric Jylha (Readings & Music)

    Tony DuRussel and J.R. Wilson, of Tony DuRussell, Inc., were there early in the morning to trim back trees in the Soldiers' Rest area. Of particular importance were the branches of a large tree near the 60 foot tall flag pole that hindered the flying of a flag. Their services were provide as a free donation to the Friends of Historic Pine Ridge Cemetery and is greatly appreciated.
    -- Tony DuRussel Inc. (989-894-0841)

    VFW Post 10918, PLAV Post 162, and Marine Camp League were out in force placing an U.S. Flag at the burial site of each veteran. Most veterans buried at Pine Ridge are from the Civil War era.

    The Bay County Historical Society bus tour arrived in the after with a group of visitors interested in seeing the historical cemetery and learning about the pioneers buried here. -- Volunteer Dee Wackman planting new flower in front Pine Ridge sign, which includes a listing of individuals and businesses that have donated to the abandoned cemetery' restoration project.

    Another group of volunteers group worked on grooming individual burial sites throughout the cemetery. Many seeing their first cleaning in several decades. -- Work was also done at at the abandoned Seamans' Cemetery which borders Pine Ridge on the south. The cemetery is slowly becoming more accessable as trees an wild shrubs are being cleared.

    May 23, 2008 - New White Fence Installed at Entrance.

    Donation by Bay City Rotary Club: A white fence now dresses up the cemtery's entrance of Tuscola Road. The flowering crab trees were planted in April and were donated by Bay Landscaping. Beds of flowers will be added to add on each side of the entrance to add some color.

    May 21, 2008 - Burial at Seamans Cemetery - Mrs. Phyllis M. (Coon) Rookus


    (click image to enlarge)

    Mrs. Phyllis M. Rookus, age 91, of Bay City died on May 18th and was interned at the cemetery on May 21, next to her late husband, Mr. Peter Rookus. Mrs. Rookus was the daughter of Hiram and Cora (Matthews) Coon. She came to Bay City in 1946, worked at Bay City Roofing for many years, and was a highly active in church and community affairs throughout most of her life.

  • Obituary at MLive.com: [View]


    May 17, 2008 - High School Students Lend A Helping Hand.



    A combined force of over 30 students from the Central and All Saints high schools were on hand Saturday to give a helping hand in cleaning up Pine Ridge and Seamans cemeteries. The high school students were participating in community service programs led by Craig Wendt of Central and Mary Beth Hopps of All Saints. The students are a fine example of civic pride, and demonstrates the difference that can be made by a small group helping to return these pioneer cemeteries to a respectable state. Their contribution was outstanding and is truly appreciated.

    Memorial Day: A special ceremony will take place at noon in the Soldiers' Rest area as a part of the Memorial Day service. For further details read an article by Dave Rogers at [View MyBayCity.com]

    Apr. 30, 2008 - Cemeteries' Boundary and Features Marked. (click images to enlarge)

  • Seaman's Photos (left-right): (1) Alan Flood & Jim Petrimoulx standing at center of road's turn around. (2) Marking road's turn around. (3) Marking road's path to Tuscola road. (4) Same. (5) Alan and Jim position where road entered cemetery off Tuscola road.

    Jim Petrimoulx, Alan Flood and Marvin Kusmierz, with plat maps in hand, spent the better part of the afternoon identifying the property line that separate the two cemeteries and the path of the road that led into the Seaman's cemetery. Two tall poles with American flags attach have been place at the east and west point that separate the two cemeteries. A third flagged pole was placed at center of the turn around of the road that entered Seaman's cemetery. Using red spray paint the Seman's road was marked. -- Another session is planned for installing stakes before the paint markings deteriorate.

    Apr. 30, 2008 - New Flag Pole Line Installed.

  • Photos: (1) Alan Flood & Jim Petrimoulx stretching out new line. (2) Full view of flag pole. (3) Prepairing to attach new line to old one for stringing. (4) Stringing new line. (5) Finishing cut.

    Afterwards the group install installed a new line on the flag pole at Soldiers Rest in Pine Ridge. Plans are to improve the appearance of the flag pole prior the Memorial Day service in May. Alan donated the line and will provide a new flag to display for the event. Tony DuRussel's Tree Service is donating their time and materials to trim over hanging branches from the tree to the east of the flag pole that now hinder flying of a flag. Attempts are being made to have the flag pole painted as well, and to repair the deteriorating base of the Soldiers Rest monument.
    -- Let us know if you know of someone who may willing to help with these items.

    Apr. 25, 2008 - Arbor Day Tree Planting. (click images to enlarge)

  • Photos: (1) Sign near entrance. (2) Dick Somalski & Dave Rogers. (3) Times' photographer, Dick Solmanski, Judy Brunner and Mayor Brunner. (4) The Brunners and Bill Keipert. <5>Dave Rogers, Bill Keipert, Judy Rodgers & Alan Flood.

    Two flowering crab appled trees were planted on each side of entrance leading into the cemetery. The trees were donated by Bay Land Scaping. Honory planters of the trees were: Dick Somalski, of Bay Landscaping; Bay City Major Charles Brunner and his wife, Judy; and Bill Keipert of the Columbus Avenue Citizens District Council. Others attending the even were Alan Flood, Mrs. Flood (Alan's mother), Fred Welch, Don Wood and Marvin Kusmierz.

    The cannon positioned on the corner lot of Tuscola and Ridges roads was replaced with a new one of similar design made by Don Wood.

    Jan. 1, 2008: Pine Ridge 150th Anniversary Year.

    2008 will mark the 150th year of Pine Ridge Cemetery's existence and we are making plans for a number of special events highlighting this important milestone. This events will be announced as the year progresses. -- If you have suggestions or wish to participate in a special event, please advise us at the earliest possible date.

    We'd like to make an extra effort in our ongoing grooming project of the burial grounds. Some areas we'd like to focus on are:

  • Grooming of headstones. Ideally, we are looking people who would be willing to adopt one or more burial sites to be groomed periodically as needed. This would be of great help in speeding up lawning mowing and improving the appearance of each burial lot.
  • We need help from indiduals who can do some masonry patching of the blocks bordering a number of the family plots. Many beginning to fall down while others need minor patching to prevent them in good shape.