Contribute to Charles Baber Cemetery Preservation Trust

Make a tax deductible contribution to Charles Baber Cemetery Preservation Trust

The Charles Baber Cemetery, consisting of 25 acres of land situated in the middle of Pottsville fronting Market Street from Twelfth Street to Sixteenth Street, serves the community as both a cemetery and as a garden park. As the city’s largest natural “green space” with transit use by school children and walking and jogging use by adults, and with the Gothic chapel, the Egyptian Revival Gatehouses, the acres of burial sites, and the carriage house and other areas like the meditation section, there is always work and projects to be done. The garden cemetery employs two full time and one part time laborers for general work and repairs to the grounds and buildings (like painting, plastering, filling in sunken graves, straightening leaning headstones, etc.), or mowing and weed whacking, or maintenance of the mowing and weeding equipment, or cutting and pruning smaller dead trees and limbs. Outside contractors are employed for major jobs like the cutting of large dead trees, the pond restoration or the roof replacement on the chapel.
The garden cemetery operates on an annual budget of $110,000 with the largest expense being labor costs to maintain the acres of grounds in a well groomed and manicured condition. The income to support this budget is extremely limited with $15,000 coming from annual grave maintenance donations, $9,000 from an endowment account with the Schuylkill Area Community Foundation, $4,000 from tree sponsorships, $3,000 -$5,000 coming from general donations and contributions from “friends” of the cemetery, $1,000-$2,000 coming from 8-10 burials per year, and the balance of $75,000 coming from a diminishing investment account.

Preserving the Charles Baber Garden Cemetery with its many benefits to the community is the primary goal of the board. The natural resources like the trees, the shrubs, and the spring fed pond support the environment by providing oxygen, cleaning the air, housing a multitude of perching and breeding places for the birdlife, butterflies, squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs. This garden park provides a large acreage of “green” space to the residents of the community. The paths, trails, and roads service the walkers and joggers, including the school children who cross the property on a daily basis, and the parents and grandparents pushing baby strollers or walking their toddlers. Burial and grave site visitations at the cemetery offer pristine grounds and a tranquil, comforting setting of singing birds, trees, and shrubs. And the beautiful Gothic Chapel, with a bronze columbarium on either side of the entrance, offers summer Sunday church services and a chapel for funeral services.
All of these benefits that the community, the adults and school children, and the families of deceased loved ones use and enjoy today are worth safe guarding for future generations to have and enjoy as well, as is the preservation of the land as a large “green” natural environment. This picturesque garden cemetery can be preserved and maintained by your financial support in several ways: (1) through contributions of any amount to the general operating fund for daily ground care and maintenance; (2) through contributions to the garden cemetery’s endowment account with the Schuylkill Area Community Foundation which protects the invested principal balance with annual distributions of only the interest earned on the investment; (3) through tree sponsorship for the Arbor Day tree replacement program which removes old diseased or dead trees and plants new trees; and (4) through contributions to specific projects as covered under the “Project” link. A contribution of any amount for any purpose or project is greatly appreciated. Please see the attached links for the forms to make a contribution to the area you are most interested in.
Click on the following links for the form to contribute to: