Moraine Twp. finishes Phase One of Daggitt Cemetery restoration
Driving on Lake-Cook Road near the Braeside train station, you may have noticed a dramatic new view of Moraine Township's Daggitt Cemetery, site of burials for our community's pioneers and leaders.
Phase One of Moraine Township's multiyear effort to restore the historic cemetery, which dates from 1845, was completed this fall. Gravestones that were previously tilted, broken and filthy are now clean, upright and standing in rows, and the cleaned marble and limestone now look like new.
Moraine Township Trustee Cindy Wolfson, who oversaw the fall restoration work, noted that, "Phase One focused on the markers most damaged, such as Margaretha Rudolph, whose stone was found in four pieces and reassembled, cleaned and restored to its position with her family. Previously illegible inscriptions can be read for the first time in decades and tell stories of our community's history, and several gravestones have revealed burials of people who do not appear on inventories taken in 1959 and 1986."
The township plans to continue work on remaining gravestones in the summer of 2021.
Daggitt Cemetery began as a family burial ground for pioneer Robert Daggitt, who came from England with his wife and nine children in 1838, and received a land grant in 1843. After the death of three of his children within a short time, neighbors asked to bury their family members nearby, and he accommodated them by establishing family plots. A cholera epidemic in the 1850s increased the number of burials.
Over time, ownership of the cemetery became unclear and it fell into disrepair. For many years, the city of Highland Park and the park district of Highland Park maintained the half acre historic cemetery.
An Illinois law passed in 1986, requires townships to take responsibility for abandoned cemeteries. At the time, Deerfield Township (now Moraine) replaced the fence, cleaned the property, and rededicated it as Daggitt Cemetery in 1996.
The cemetery is closed to new burials; the last burial was in 1984 for a descendant of the founder.
For more information on Daggitt Cemetery, visit www.morainetownship.org.
For more details, contact Trustee Cindy Wolfson at (847) 432-3240 or TrusteeWolfson@morainetownship.org.