My concerns about Riverview

My concerns about Riverview I'll be updating this over the next few days - trying to summarize what I know and links to information that have already published. For now, I just wanted to get this started to give everyone concerned a place to come for current information and to voice their concerns and indicate what they've already attempted to address the problems with the cemetery.

I can remember visiting Riverview as a little boy - most of my relatives are buried there. My great grandmother, great grandfather, grand parents & aunts and uncles and most recently my mother and father are all at Riverview. When my father was buried there in 1996 and my mother in 1999, the place still looked pretty good. The grass was mowed, there were a few flowers about and although it looked a bit tired, you don't really expect cemeteries to look vibrant now do you?

Unfortunately, procrastinator that I am, I never got stones for either my mother or father's graves. I know exactly where they are, but from what I understand I'm among the lucky ones. Many people do not know where their family members are buried and apparently cannot get access to the records from the current owner.

A recent posting on another forum indicated the grass was knee high and there are sink holes on the grounds. There was a hearing this week for a developer who is putting up condos adjoining the cemetery who wants to demolish the chapel which is said to be partially on his land.

The current owner purchased the cemetery a few years back, and from what I understand has been unable to maintain it. When I first read the report of Rev. Tom Davis purchasing the property, it sounded like a good thing - a neighborhood cleryman who would give those interred there the respect they deserved. What happened?

Soon after the cemetery was purchased I attempted to phone Rev. Davis. I left a message to offer my services to transcribe and put the records online. I received no response.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has contacted Rev. Davis, city officials, members of the community, etc. Tell us anything you can that you think might help.

Thanks -- Jim Gish

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Riverview slideshow (before cleanup)

Photos by Chrissie Braddock

Success at last!

Thanks to everyone of The Friends of Historic Riverview Cemetery, the transfer of the property has now been successfully concluded. See the following article for the details: Rivervew Gardens Cemetery changes ownership.

I'm sure there is still a long road ahead, but there is a committed group of people involved who are working hard to bring the cemetery back to a respectable condition. I only wish that I were close enough to lend a hand.

Again -- thanks to one and all (and I'll try to do a better job of keeping this blog up to date!).


P.S. I hope the name is changed back to Riverview Cemetery -- I always thought that the change to Riverview Gardens was pointless and silly.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thanks for the cleanup

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who showed up and pitched in for the special Arbor Day cleanup at Riverview. I'm sorry I couldn't be there to help out and see all the activity, especially since this took place on my father's birthday. He was a great tree lover and would have been especially pleased.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Friends of Riverview Meeting

The next Friends Meeting will be March 31, 2008 at VFW Hall, 
Brandywine Blvd. at 6:00 PM

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Burial records now safe!

Lee reported this morning that the original, historic, burial records have been recovered from Tom Davis and our now in the hands of the attorney for Friends of Riverview. This is wonderful news with which to start the new year. Thanks to everyone involved for achieving this major milestone.


Happy New Year!

I haven't been keeping up with this blog too well lately. My excuses are fairly typical this time of the year - holidays, family, work, etc. I'm posting a few updates in the links to articles and will try to stay on top of things a bit better now that I've survived another holiday season. Please let me know about any happenings at Riverview you think are noteworthy.


Friday, June 1, 2007

Why shouldn't the City take this on ?

I'm delighted that the major of the city of Wilmington is stepping in to cleanup the cemetery as reported in the 6/1/07 article listed below. However, I fail to understand his statement that

“I will not ask city taxpayers to take responsibility on a long-term basis for what is clearly a nagging and troublesome private property issue that happens to be within Wilmington’s boundaries,”

Why shouldn't the City takeover this community/city asset and give the neighbors and families and those buried there the respect that is due? I simply don't understand it. This cemetery has been an asset to the city for a couple of hundred years. There are former community & state leaders buried there as well as countless veterans and others who served our country and community in so many ways. Why is the major reluctant to take on this responsibility. I don't know the full history of the cemetery and how it happened to be in the hands of the Odd Fellows, and certainly don't know the current owner's motivation for taking it on and then failing to carry on with the responsibility of maintaining it. However, it seems like the only viable long term solution is for the City to own and maintain it so that it once again becomes a well-maintained asset for the common good for many years. That IS the very responsibility of government.

So, while I deeply appreciate the major's stepping up to cleanup the cemetery, I'd like him and others in the City to consider that this is indeed their responsibility as well as everyone's in the City. I'm certain that if my parents and so many others that I know who are buried in Riverview were still here to cast their vote, they would vote for additional taxes to keep Riverview a place of respect for everyone and a place of pride for the City.