Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
September 9, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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September 9, 2015

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IOA Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 Feather River Bulletin Not all of those buried in the cemetery on Beskeen Lane in Quincy were indigent; some were Freshly painted white crosses mark the graves of those buried in the Plumas County Cemetery on able to afford headstones. Beskeen Lane. Debra Moore But he's not just referring to Staff Writer the use of garden tools, hammers and nails. "Showing up to work, A local man is teaching life maintaining consistency, lessons by working with the learning to work with dead. others; learning a sense of It's often referred to as community .... "are just Potter's Field or Pauper'ssome of the lessons Johnston Field; but, according to is trying to imPart with this Plumas County Museum project. Curator Scott Lawson, the The youth, from 14 to 20 cemetery tucked behind years of age, began the job on Gansner Park in Quincy is the first day of summer formally the Plumas County vacation and worked four Cemetery. hours a day from 8:30 a.m. to "The Potter's and are both incorrect as they assume that all who are buried there were indigents," Lawson said. "In fact, many of the deceased had money to some extent, but mostly no family to send them off to." There are several headstones, and even a couple of elaborate monuments at the cemetery, that would indicate that the deceased or their heirs had some means. Twenty years ago, concerned citizens cleaned the grounds and erected new white crosses. But two decades have passed, the grass has grown back and the crosses haven,t weathered the elements well. Rich Johnston, a case manager with the Plumas County Mental Health Department, envisioned a project that would restore the cemetery and provide jobs and life lessons for some of his young clients. "I want to teach them skills they can use," Johnston said during a recent trip to the cemetery. Pauper's ...... 12:30 p.m, .... Days were spent clearing the overgrown weeds and grass, repairing the fence where a tree had fallen, and replacing the white wooden crosses. "We do everything by hand," Johnston said as he demonstrated how the youth, both boys and girls, piled debris onto a tarp to be carried away. Johnston said the county's facility services and road departments contributed to the effort by taking away truck loads of debris, and the U.S. Forest Service provided a water pack for fire suppression. Local dentist Troy Van Pelt and Mountain Building Supply provided the wood for the crosses. Johnston said the youth appreciated everyone's efforts and the opportunity to work on a community project and earn a paycheck. Work will continue on the cemetery during the school year and Johnston hopes to make some other improvements, including installing a bench. This is the view from the back of the Plumas County Cemetery, sometimes referred to as Potter's Field, on Beskeen Lane northeast of Gansner Park. The freshly made crosses are awaiting a coat of white paint. Pl otos by Debra Moore The youth devised their own method to measure and cut new crosses to place on the graves. FOR 6 MONTHSI*