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Re: [MidwestCemeteries] Dixon Developmental Center Cemetery Updates

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  • Tracy St Claire
    The cemetery is not all overgrown, just the most recent markers. The cemetery appears to be mowed but not professionally maintained -- I see this at other
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 5, 2008
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      The cemetery is not all overgrown, just the most recent markers. 
      The cemetery appears to be mowed but not professionally maintained --
      I see this at other cemeteries, I'm sure you know what I mean. They mow the
      lawn; that is it. If a grave sinks. no one fills it. If a stone starts to sink, they 
      make no attempt to raise it, they simply mow over it. If a stone topples,
      it stays that way. If some start to disappear into the woods, that is not
      prevented.

      There is an art to cemetery maintenance akin to golf course maintenance
      that is not being practiced here.  I guess I would expect that.

      The cemetery is located due south of the correctional facility on 2nd Street.
      You can find the map. photos of the cemetery and some stones here:


      Bless your heart.  Visiting the cemetery is sad, but the stories of the facility,
      especially in the last decades when they were moving people out quickly, sometimes without 
      knowing exactly what they were doing, must have been very emotional.
      Tracy


      On Nov 5, 2008, at 4:00 PM, Dixie wrote:

      Tracy,
      where is the cemetery located in Dixon, and is it overgrown?  I work with many people who started out at Dixon State home years ago and I would like to pay a visit to the cemetery.
      Thanks,
      Dixie


    • rivycat@aol.com
      My husband s great-aunt was institutionalized at the Dixon State Hospital after her mother died in 1926. Minnie Pankow lived there for almost 18 years
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 5, 2008
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        My husband's great-aunt was institutionalized at the Dixon State "Hospital" after her mother died in 1926.  Minnie Pankow lived there for almost 18 years until she died.  Minnie is not buried in the cemetery.  Thankfully her family brought her body back home and she is buried with her mother at Oakridge Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.  Minnie was deaf, mute and considered mentally retarded. 
         
        Carole
         
        In a message dated 11/5/2008 4:00:51 P.M. Central Standard Time, dixie61032@... writes:

        Tracy,
        where is the cemetery located in Dixon, and is it overgrown?  I work with many people who started out at Dixon State home years ago and I would like to pay a visit to the cemetery.
        Thanks,
        Dixie


        -----Original Message-----
        From: allisterbino
        Sent: Nov 5, 2008 11:44 AM
        To: MidwestCemeteries@ yahoogroups. com
        Subject: [MidwestCemeteries] Dixon Developmental Center Cemetery Updates


        I was in Dixon (Illinois) a few days ago and checked up on the Dixon
        Developmental Center Cemetery.

        Dixon Developmental Center had many names during its time that it was
        open -- Dixon State School, etc, but essentially it was where
        Illinois institutionalized children with disabilities (and then they
        grew to adults) from the early 1900s until 1983 when it was finally
        closed. The facility is now a prison.

        A great many children (and adults) with disabilities died here and
        were unclaimed by their families. Over 1000 by 1940 by the numbering
        convention.

        The graves through the 1940s appear to be fairly well maintained and
        legible, with very cheap institutional markers for most. These are
        upright markers and therefore still can be read. Sometime in the 50s?
        they changed to flat markers that are almost all sunken into the
        ground or seriously overgrown. It will take a rescue effort soon to
        recover them.

        Addionally, no dirt has been added to support sinking graves or other
        usual cemetery maintenance. Some rows are falling over for this
        reason.

        I photographed around 100 stones but had to stop -- I had my own
        child with a serious disability with me, ironically.

        FYI
        Tracy

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