We bought a Rainbow Bridge
Recently there has been a local issue over a 50 year old Pet Cemetery here in Peoria Illinois. The previous owners let the taxes fall behind and the County took possession of the property. It went up for public auction and the newspaper article about it had interviews with a few elderly people who had pets buried there. They were all worried that someone would buy the property and tear out the cemetery to build on it. I dont like to see people worry about things, especially at their ages. So my partner and I called about purchasing it since it did not sell at the auction. One person had made contact about it before we did and they were sent the contract and had two weeks to sign it and send in their payment of $645.00. We were in line after them. They did not follow through so we were mailed a contract, received it a few days ago, have signed it and sent it back with our payment.
The paperwork for Pet Haven has been lost so the chances of ever being able to bury anymore pets is pretty slim since we do not know how full it is or who is where. My main objective in buying this is to protect it and give piece of mind to all that have their pets there. It is just under an acre in size with a small creek that runs through it dividing it. 2/3 is the cemetery and 1/3 looks like it has been used for many years as a soil fill dump site that is overgrown with tress that goes across the front of the property. You have to walk across a small bridge over the creek to get to the cemetery. We plan on restoring the cemetery by cleaning it up and resetting the sunken headstones. I will take from my garden to add to it.
This will cost us considerably down the road to maintain it, pay liability insurance for it and pay the property taxes on it but I think it is worth it for what we are giving to the community. Now I have to buy a riding lawn mower & trailer for it to cut the grass. I hate cutting grass! I have been removing all of the grass from our house so I wouldnÂt have to mow it and putting in all flowerbeds. We will be losing 2 of our 6 dogs to old age this year that will be rough on me. My partner is a manager at one of the most respected cemeteries here so I hear all about it and peoples losses, which does bug me. So I take all of the things that I do not like and buy something that entails all of them just to do something good for others.
We are just now in the starting phases of this and coming up with all of the ways in which we need to do things for Pet Haven. We are also receiving much great advice from many people from all over the country through multiple forums and groups that we belong to. We will be contacting previous owners and managers of the cemetery to try and locate any remaining records for the place. We are also planning to have the lot surveyed and mapped out to show all existing graves that have headstones and all of the old plot markers of which there are many. Whoever originally designed and installed the cemetery knew what they were doing as everything is in perfect rows and there are more plot markers than are actually needed. After finding any remaining records and having a survey done we are hoping to find someone to come in with ground penetrating radar to locate unmarked graves. Utility companies and Archaeological Research companies use these tools.
We have an appointment for tomorrow to meet with a newsprint reporter who did the previous story about Pet Haven. We had been in contact with her not only about Pet Haven but also about another pet related issue concerning changing the rules with the US Department of Transportation concerning airlines in regards to the transportation of pets to hold the airlines more accountable for the death of pets. We have three US Senators working with us on that along with many others.
At the request of people that are interested in our journey of what we are doing for Pet Haven I have set up a Facebook account for it. The username is "PetHaven Cemetery". I posted a bunch of photos of Pet Haven there.
Below is a link to the newspaper story I read that brought my attention to what was going on with Pet Haven. The first photo is of the bridge over a small creek that leads into Pet Haven.