Now that the blazing heat of summer is over (we hope!), it’s time for some tranquil fall Open Days at Tolomato Cemetery. But the kick-off for the fall season will be a little different this year.
Have you ever walked along Cordova Street and wondered why beautiful, serene Tolomato Cemetery is caged behind a chain link and barbed wire fence? Have you ever thought how much you hate that sagging gate that prevents you from taking a photograph of the stately trees and classic chapel? That’s going to change!
About a year ago, architect Don Crichlow drew up plans for the restoration of the early 20th century concrete wall and complete replacement of the fence and gate that have surrounded Tolomato Cemetery since the 1940s. In between the labors of restoring the Varela Chapel crypt and floor, TCPA members spent time getting bids from fencing companies and considering design solutions.
The new fence plans are finally ready to be unveiled to the public, and our next Open Day, Saturday, September 20, will be the big day. We’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as usual, and of course, everything will be free, as usual. But it’s going to be special!
Visitors can have our regular tours and a chance to see the restoration work that was done in the Varela Chapel, but we’ll also have live music, refreshments, a silk-screener producing special Tolomato items, and presentations on the fence and the history of the fences and walls at Tolomato Cemetery. Naturally, the centerpiece will be the rendering of the new fence and gate, which we hope to complete by next summer.
As you can see from the late 19th century photo above, the fence has looked even worse at times. But after all these years, we want it to finally be as lovely as the rest of the cemetery - and to be something that makes St Augustine even more beautiful! Come on September 20th and see for yourself.