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Veteran takes over historic Gold Hill cemetery

A Navy Veteran is the caretaker for the IOOF Gold Hill Cemetery, and he ensured that the veterans buried there were marked for Veterans Day.

Posted: Nov 11, 2020 3:46 PM
Updated: Nov 11, 2020 6:10 PM

GOLD HILL, Ore. — Patrick Coniff is a Navy Veteran that started to clean and restore the IOOF Gold Hill Cemetery. He has now taken over the eight acres and has started to rebuild the area.

This Veteran's Day, the cemetery received 14 three-by-five American flags to be put up on Cavalry Row. It is the only area at the cemetery to have 14 service members all lined together.

There are a total of 80 veterans at the cemetery, which now all have American flags by the headstone or metal tag.

Coniff is working on replacing every metal tag with a headstone. With the help from Southern Oregon Granite, there has been a deal made to purchase headstones in bulk. But because the cemetery is all volunteer and donation-based, getting headstones to every grave will be a long and difficult task.

The oldest grave at the cemetery dates back to August 26, 1859. The oldest military grave dates back to January 6, 1906.

The current project that Coniff is working on is the World War II memorial site. A private donor stepped up and has already purchased a 25-foot tall flagpole with a light on. The memorial is based on the World War II B-29 bomber plane that went down over Japan, and all of the veterans on the plane are missing in action. The memorial will also include a pedestal with a picture of the plane and a list of all the crewmen.

The cemetery is always looking for more donations or volunteers.

The IOOF Gold Hill Cemetary address is only on Google Maps — Apple Maps cannot locate the cemetery.

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