Commemorating Oakland’s 150th anniversary

This year marks the Sesquicentennial of the dedication of Oakland Cemetery. By the year 1860 Warren’s first cemetery, the East Street Cemetery, was filled to maximum capacity, and Warren citizens began to search for land that could more adequately serve as Warren’s primary burial ground. In May of 1863, the local International Order of the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) purchased 48 acres of land in Pleasant Township from Thomas Struthers, and on October 12, 1863, Oakland Cemetery was dedicated with ceremonies.

On Sunday, Aug. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m., the Warren County Historical Society in partnership with the Oakland Cemetery Trustees cordially invite the community to bring a picnic and tour the historic cemetery grounds.

Spend an afternoon basking in the nostalgic traditions of the long ago Victorians did. Pack a picnic lunch, pay your respects to deceased loved ones and visit with family and friends. At 1 p.m., enjoy your picnic lunch anywhere on the beautifully landscaped grounds, and relax in the tranquility of the scenery while listening to Bob Carlson’s memorable bagpipes. At 2 p.m., meet at the International Order of the Odd Fellows Circle for the opening ceremony. From 2:30 to 4 PM, explore the grounds with the map provided at the front entrance of the cemetery, directly in front of the receiving vault. Historical Society volunteers will be stationed at marked locations to share with you the history of Warren County’s past citizens. Step into the vaults that will be especially opened for Oakland Cemetery’s Sesquicentennial celebration and listen to the volunteers share stories about the Struthers, Morrison, Allen and Hazeltine families. Learn about our earliest settlers buried at Pioneer Cemetery and Potter’s Field from volunteer Alex Watkins. Other sites include the large Oakland Mausoleum filled with symbolism, the Crary and Schimmelfeng family grave sites and more. At 4 PM, join members of the 111th Civil War Regiment Re-enactors at the Grand Army of the Republic Circle for a special ceremony honoring the memory of Warren County’s Civil War Soldiers.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information. visit warrenhistory.org or call 723-1795.