COLUMBIANA — The campaign to repair the historic chapel at Columbiana Cemetery is nearly a quarter of its $100,000 goal, and a fundraising event is scheduled for October.
Debbie Himes of the Columbiana and Fairfield Township Historical Society said the Oct. 28 cemetery tour event is in conjunction with the BirdFish Brewing Company and will include Catalpa Grove Farms wagon rides through the cemetery.
She said about 15 people will be dressed in costume at various locations in the cemetery to tell the stories of those buried there.
Many participating people tell the stories of their own ancestors, she said.
Tickets for the family event are $10.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. and in addition to the wagon ride, there will be a best-dressed pumpkin contest, with pumpkins to be lit inside the cemetery.
There will also be media on site who will read the cards for those interested.
A 50/50 raffle tree and gift cards will also be presented and the “Fix the Sticks” project will also benefit from a portion of select beverages served at BirdFish Brewing Co. that evening.
All funds raised for the project will be written to the city, as the historical society is working with the city on the project.
“Thank you for allowing us to help you raise $100,000 to repair the 1896 chapel in the cemetery. We are literally honored because we needed a project,” Himes told city council members last week.
The Board was asked to approve the event request at the meeting and approval was given.
“I think it sounds fantastic. It should be a good night, “ said Mayor Rick Noel.
The 1896 chapel repair project has been underway for at least six years, with the “Fix the Sticks” countryside named after the building’s baton-style architecture, which is rare throughout the state.
According to the historical society, the 18-by-28-foot building was originally constructed in 1890 on the site of the current mausoleum.
The building was first used to host funeral parties during inclement weather.
The Staff Chapel was moved during the construction of the mausoleum and used as a storage shed.
The historical society says the goal is to use the Staff Chapel again for funeral services.
In 2017, the chapel was redone and maintained thanks to a donation of $1,300 from the Cenacle.
The Columbiana Community Foundation recently donated more than $18,000 to the project.
Himes said there is currently $22,569 raised and at least $1,500 has also been pledged by other organizations.