2011 Annual Report

Friends of Silverbrook Cemetery

2011 Annual Report


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


2011 Veterans Flag Pole Project

Councilman Tim Skalla met with our local veterans for their Annual Meeting at the American Legion to present a Flag Pole Project on behalf of the Friends and the city of Niles.

In June of 2011, the Flag Pole Project was launched. Ginny Tyler was the Chairperson for this committee. Local Foundations, citizens and organizations generously donated so that a new Veteran's Service Flag display could be created at Silverbrook Cemetery. This display honors the over 2,000 veterans buried at the city cemetery, and honors all Veterans who have served to keep us free.

In September, this project was completed with the signage in production. The signage will be installed in the spring of 2012 with the dedication event.

The Annual Membership Drive and generous donations made it possible to purchase a 20 FT aluminum flag pole and flag for the grave of Silverbrook's Medal of Honor winner.

Highlights of 2011

The Friends and Bob Cooley (BCGS) held 4 Saturday work sessions with 4 volunteers giving 20 volunteer hours. Restoration repairs were completed on 10 headstones. Bob Cooley
worked alone in the cemetery this summer on days during the week. He has finished almost all current repairs of headstones that were down-broken.

The Friends web-site is maintained and updated by Bob Nightingale, Mary Ellen Drolet and Vicki Caison. We moved to our new provider in March 2011, we've had 61,312 visits to the
friendsofsilverbrook.org compared to 9,028 in 2010. A new feature has been added to the grave search page that links the obit to the photo. We currently have approximately 11,900
photographs and 2,800 obituaries posted for review. The Friends of Silverbrook Facebook page is maintained by Bob Nightengale and currently has 28 Friends.

Guest Speakers at our Monthly Meetings

*Nancy Studebaker, NDL, Book Series Project

*Bob & Nancy Cooley, BCGS, Indexing a Cemetery

*De Beaumont, Regent of the Rebecca Dewey Chapter of Daughters of the Revolution

*Peter & Anita Rodgers, Preserving our Heritage from Stone to Internet

*Barbara Cook, World Trip on the Queen Mary

*Bob Nightingale, Camp Letters: 1942-1945

The Friends participated with Dave Roeder and the Brandywine History Club in the 1st Civil War Walking Tour held in May. A "Living History" tour with re-enactors representing local

Civil War Veterans interred at Silverbrook. Featured soldiers included: Col. Francis Quinn, Capt. Horace Cummings, Lt. Col. David Bacon, Gen. Henry Morrow, Col. Franks Graves and Mrs. Evan J. Bonine.

In November 2011, the Friends filed the application with the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affair for a military grave marker for the unmarked grave of Hiram Chilson (1797-1889), one of the earliest settlers of Niles, who was a veteran of the War of 1812.


The Annual Membership Drive is held in April of each year. The membership roster currently has 155 Members listed.

Membership Projects Funded in 2011

*Purchase of a 20 FT Aluminum Flag Pole for Medal of Honor Veteran, Joseph Nolan.

*Purchase of 8 gallons black paint for chain link fence in the Garden of Memory.

*Annual Fee for Friends web-site.

*Purchase of cleaning and restoration supplies.

*Printing of Membership letters, Thank You note cards, FOS letterhead, envelopes and brochures.

*Postage for mailings.

Thanks you for your continued support in this endeavor.


Candace Skalla