How Best to Blend the New Territory with Old

Date Published: 
September, 1894
Original Author: 
W. F. Jewson
Original Publication: 
AACS Proceedings of the 8th Annual Convention

Our honorable and untiring Executive Committee has assigned me the most arduous task of presenting the subject of what is "Generally the Best and Most Approved System of Blending New Territory with an Old Cemetery." When I first received notice and began to give the subject some consideration, I also began to feel something like a skipper in mid-ocean without his compass, as the subject implies discussion rather than presentation never having heard of a "Generally best or most approved system." You can readily see the difficulty of preparing even an approved paper, so I immediately notified the committee of my inability to comply, but as our committee is composed of men that know no failure and are strangers to excuses, I submissively bow to their wishes and try to accomplish something out of nothing, therefore this paper may be somewhat disappointing. but I feel that after you have taken the situation in you will overlook any short-comings; but if there is one thing more than another that has forcibly impressed itself upon my mind, it is the usefulness and the benefits of the American Association of Cemetery Superintendents, and why the subject should be assigned to one of the Junior members is also beyond the writer's comprehension. However, the subject is well worthy of much consideration, but time forbids.

In blending new territory with an old cemetery, there are many difficulties to contend with, and I shall be candid in saying that I need to be informed upon what is "Generally the best and most approved system," therefore can only consider from an individual standpoint and not from experience or suggestion from aids that are entirely out of reach.

In blending new territory with an old cemetery, much depends upon locality and how much nature has done for the new and how much of nature has been disfigured and destroyed in the old.

When new territory is to be added to an old cemetery, I know of no better system than a gradual emerging from the old into the new. This may necessitate the modifying of some of the old lines, and where possible, the entire changing of others that have marred the natural beauty. This may also require, to some extent, a disfigurement of the new, that a gradual blending may be accomplished from the old into the beautiful and picturesque appearance of the Ideal Modern Cemetery.

I believe that the modern cemetery of today is only the beginning of possibilities of the modern cemetery of the future therefore, what might be the most approved system today twenty years hence would not be considered at all. Again, supposing that the new territory has no natural beauty and mechanical skill has done all for the old, I would say the first approved step is to get out of the old, stiff, miry ruts, and study to imitate nature rather than mechanical perfection, and only where necessary should mechanical means be applied that nature's beauty may be made perfect.

Man can chisel, carve and shape, but petrified skill is not all that makes the landscape beautiful. Knowing then what is most desired, a plat of the whole should be made. We are then ready to carry our system into practice, hence after you have put this through the dissecting process, it will stand or fall as an approved or disapproved system of blending new territory with an old cemetery.