OLD HECLA CEMETERY HERE IS UNDERGOING MANY IMPROVEMENTS
School Children Aid Priest in Beautifying Work.
Sacred Heart church, through the enterprise of the Rev. Fr. Humbert, has taken steps toward beautifying the old Hecla Cemetery, which in the early days was the Catholic burying ground for this section. Old fences are being removed, mounds leveled, and as far as possible the place is being put in a presentable condition.
School children are aiding Father Humbert in this work, but as there is no fund available, the improvements will be necessarily limited.
If the weather permits a Libera service will be held on Oct. 27, with a procession from the church to the cemetery, following a sermon and prayer in observation of the Feast of Poor Souls, November 2.
The cemetery came into existence about the time of the opening of the Calumet and Hecla mine here, although no records are available because of the destruction of the church. Research has shown that the parish now known as Scared Heart was organized here in 1868 by the Rev. Fr. Hacker.
In 1869 a church 40 by 90 feet was built at a cost of $14,000 for the parish, which numbered about 1,200 souls. A parsonage was built the following year at a cost of $1,800.
Father Jacker was succeeded by Fathers Ela, Brown, Burns, Mazina, Menard, Kenny, and Shebul; Father Shebul leaving in 1876.
From this the date of the establishment of the cemetery can be fixed with some accuracy, although no exact information as to the identification of unmarked graves is available. There was no cemetery organization at that time, burial permits being granted by the sexton, who kept no record aside from his own memory.
Although the title to the land rests with the Calumet and Hecla Mining company, the cemetery is part of the Sacred Heart parish.
Where possible it is planned to mark the graves, although only records entered since 1892 are available for this purpose, and death has carried away nearly all of the pioneers who might have remembered anything about the earlier graves.
The Hecla cemetery and the Calumet Protestant cemetery were the first burial ground in this vicinity, the latter lying about one quarter mile east of the Schoolcraft cemetery north of Albion. May bodies are buried there, but as in the case in the Hecla cemetery , there are no records.
Subsequently the Schoolcraft cemetery was used, until the Lake View association came into existence in 1894. Since then few burials have been made in these older cemeteries.
Sacred Heart parish has improved the old cemetery at Eagle Harbor, and in the future will probably undertake the improvement of the old Catholic cemetery at the Cliff mine.