SAM_5157The Jefferson Street Cemetery Restoration and Preservation project is working to raise the dead. Well, not exactly. (More on that later.)

The dedicated group of volunteers organizing the restoration project is holding the first annual Walking Tour of the Jefferson Street Cemetery on Saturday, July 20. Walking tours begin at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. and start at the Ellicottville Historical Society Museum on Washington Street. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children five and older.

The walking tours will include St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Saxton-Ellis House before being chauffeured to the Jefferson Street Cemetery by Bob McCarthy’s antique tractor and wagon.

At the cemetery, you will hear stories about some of those who are buried there — you will even get to meet some! (That’s the raising the dead part.)

You will also learn about the various carvings and symbols on some of the gravestones, and see the little blue and pink ribbons, indicating they are the graves of children, ranging from infants to age 10.

Proceeds will support the Jefferson Street Cemetery project including the purchase of a stone to memorialize those who are buried there without a headstone, a Jefferson Street Cemetery sign, a plaque to recognize National Registry status and for some landscaping around the sign.

Special thanks to those who have volunteered, so far, to assist with this historic project: Cathy Lacy, Hobie Hall, Mary Jane Fox, Pam Litchfield, Dottie Frederickson of Great Valley; Della Moore, Stephanie, Cheyenne and Olivia Washington, Carolyn Bauer and Crandall’s Memorials of Olean; Mary Elizabeth Dunbar, MJ Brown, Cathy Pritchard, Bill Burrell, John Burrell, Donna Brooks, Ellen Frank and her husband, the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, Tim and Judy Brown and Bob McCarthy of Ellicottville; Holly and Jeff Garland of Kennedy; Deb Evert of Randolph; and Dr. Lisa Anselmi of SUNY Buffalo.

The committee is still in need of more assistants to help with setting up and taking down for the event. Actors and actresses are needed, too — no experience necessary!

If you are be interested in assisting with this historic project, please call Gail Carucci at (716) 307-5510 or email her at It’s sure to be a fun and educational event.