2010 Annual Report

Friends of Silverbrook Cemetery
2010 Annual Report
Candace Skalla, President

The Friends of Silverbrook Cemetery would like to thank the City of Niles, Niles District Library, Fort Saint Joseph Museum, Bob Cooley (BCGS), and the many volunteers who have donated numerous hours of time, talent, and equipment to this effort.

Thank you to Martin's Super Market and PepsiCo for a $500.00 Grant awarded to the Friends. This Grant was presented to the City of Niles to purchase flags and flag holders to mark the final resting place of service veterans currently without appropriate markings. The Friends donated an additional $400.00 to the City of Niles for purchase of flags for the cemetery.

The Annual Membership Drive and generous donations made it possible to donate $1,000.00 to the City to install three new waterlines and faucets in the Garden of Memory. The work was completed in October of 2010 by Gordon Engineering Company.

DEDICATION EVENTS at Silverbrook Cemetery:

A Veterans Recognition Service for Brigadier General Henry A. Morrow, U.S. Volunteer was held on May 8th conducted by Frederick H. Hackman Camp No. 85. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Brandywine History Club, GAR, and the Friends cleaned the family headstones before the event.

A dedication ceremony "P.S. Bring Flowers" John Gipner Project was held on May 29th by The Four Flags Garden Club. A grave site dedication included members of the John Gipner family, Amtrack officials, City of Niles, Rev Fran-Lane Lawrence and the Friends. A reception hosted by the Garden Club followed the dedication at the Niles train depot.


The Friends and Bob Cooley (BCGS) held 7 Saturday work sessions with 28 volunteers giving  84 volunteer hours. Restoration or repairs were completed on 32 headstones.

The Friends web-site is maintained and updated by Bob Nightingale, Vicki Caison and Mary Ellen Drolet. In 2010, our web-site had over 9,028 visitors compared to the 7,300 in 2009. The "Grave Search Feature" now has 20,685 records online.  We have 11,914 photographs in the web gallery and 1,688 obituaries  posted for review. A "NEW" Friends Face Book page currently has 25 Friends which is maintained by Bob Nightingale.

"The Silverbrook Legacies" series written by Kathy Hempel published 7 featured stories in our local newspaper, The NILES DAILY STAR.
Guest Speakers at our Monthly Meetings Included:
*Kathy Hempel : Silverbrook Legacies stories
*Katie Johnson-Rohman, Editor, Leader Publication
*Carol Bainbridge: Bonine House and Family

The Friends participated in Community Events:
*Michiana History Days (Buchanan)
*Brandywine Civil War Week-end

The Friends worked with the Brandywine History Club, Niles District Library and Fort Saint Joseph Museum to offer a "Bus-City Tour" school field trip  for 110 Brandywine second graders and volunteers.

The Annual Cemetery Walking Tour this year included a "Living History” ' re-enactors representing historical personalities interred at the cemetery. Featured citizens  included: Edward LaPierre, Fanny Lacey, Jeppe and Fannie Delano, John Gipner, John and Horace Dodge family. The event was held on September 18th with Carol Bainbridge (FSJM) as our tour guide. Thank you to Friends Mike and Sue Armstrong, Gina Dunham, Tim Skalla, Debby Barkman , and John Mischler for a great job!

The Annual Membership Drive is held in April of each year. The membership roster currently has 145 members listed.

*Donation for three new waterlines and faucets in the Garden of Memory
*Donation to purchase flags for cemetery
*Purchase of cleaning and restoration supplies
*Purchase of Bradford Pear Tree for the Garden of Memory
*Printing of membership letters, brochures, cemetery maps, cemetery tour brochures and  reprint of  pages for cemetery office use of cemetery plat   maps                                                                               
*Postage for mailings

Thank you for your continued support in this endeavor.


Candace Skalla