Magnificent views atop 'the hill'


Two of the most magnificent views in Whiteside County are located within the city of Fulton, Illinois — the view from “the hill” in the south section of the Fulton Township Cemetery and the other view from “the hill” with its sunset slope to the Mississippi River in the north section of the cemetery.

Both summits are worthy of a visit. The focus of the Sunday program, sponsored by the Fulton Township and the Fulton Historical Society, will be on the restoration project and historic visits of early settlers in the south section. The “Walk in the Cemetery” will provide attendees an opportunity to see and hear interesting biographical information about Fulton residents buried there and experience the awesome view from “the hill.”

On June 24, a program will feature the restoration project and a walk in the north section (previously named the Calvary Hill) of the Fulton Township Cemetery.

The Fulton Cemetery Association was organized in 1874 and incorporated as a non-for-profit entity on Aug. 20, 1874. Shares were sold. W. C. Snyder had acquired much of the ground by tax deed and regular purchase. Additional land was purchased and donated to the south section of the cemetery over the years. The Fulton Journal on April 3, 1958, reported that the Fulton Township had assumed the obligation of operating and maintaining the cemetery.

The north (Calvary Hill) section history, restoration and “walk” will be featured June 24.

Some interesting facts about our south cemetery’s history are:

n The Ellipse: Lot Number One was in the very center of this oval-shaped area. In early times it bore the grandiloquent name of “the centerpiece,” and was planted with beautiful flowers. In 1894, even though the original Fulton Cemetery Association was struggling to maintain the ground properly, a special gardener was hired to care for the flower-bed once a week.

In 1929, the American Legion purchased lot Number 10. In 1947, Post 402 traded Number 10 for Number One; namely, “The Centerpiece.” The post erected a memorial — In Memory of Those Who Served Their Country — adorned with a flag atop the pole.

n “The Circle” is located in the northeast area of the south section. One may not be aware of its configuration except from the view from atop “The Hill.” It is worth the walk up to view it.

n In 1886, the city of Fulton purchased a lot for the burial of veterans of the Civil War. The following year, some of the veterans who had been buried elsewhere in the cemetery were moved there. Twelve men from that conflict and one from the Spanish-American War are interred there. The stones were provided by the United States government and are identical to Civil War stones throughout America.

n In 1876, just two years after the Fulton Cemetery Association was formed, the Dutch Reformed Church purchased lots Number 267 to 294. The Dutch Immigrant monument was dedicated in 2011 listing the 167 identified names of those whom are buried there.

Many other monuments will be discussed at the Sunday (South Section) and June 24 (North or Calvary Hill Section) “Walk” programs sponsored by the Fulton Historical Society and the Fulton Township. Please join us.

Barb Mask is the president of the Fulton Historical Society.