David Hudson Chapter of Questers works to preserve cemetery

Kent Weeklies
Pictured are tthe before and after of a broken headstone.
President Eileen Guinta of the David Hudson Chapter of Questers International shows a repaired headstone.

Do you know how many Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in the Old Hudson Township Burying Ground? Who was the first person buried in the cemetery? The answer to these questions are noted in a pamphlet that the David Hudson Chapter of Questers International put together for the cemetery. The group which began in 1970, is one of three in Hudson who gather to discuss antiques, history, preservation and restoration and share their collections with many others.

In 2014, the chapter became interested in the Old Burying Ground, located on Chapel Street next to Western Reserve Academy’s grounds. They received a $500 grant from Ohio Questers and have used the money to provide flowers and containers for the cemetery fence as well as the purchase of a special mailbox which holds pamphlets they researched entitled “Who’s Buried Here” detailing the many early settlers including David and Anna Hudson, John Brown’s parents, as well as four Revolutionary War soldiers.

In February 2019, the chapter determined that many of the headstones in the cemetery were in need of restoration and members attended city of Hudson cemetery board meetings to express their concern that if something wasn’t done, it might be too late to save these historic markers. David Hudson Questers members Eileen Guinta, President, Barbara Hanna, Cindy Newton, and Dianne Kauffman worked with the Board and Trent Wash, Assistant Director of Public Works, to determine next steps.

The city brought in Mark Smith from Gravestone Transformations who did an assessment and presented the city with a bid to restore the headstones. David Hudson Questers were determined to help the city and wrote a grant to Questers International Preservation and Restoration Fund. They had to match a fourth of the grant and between chapter funds and a new tradition at each meeting called “Happy Bucks,” where members put money in for different things they are happy for, they received a grant of $3,000 and were able to restore 10 headstones this past fall. The group plans to continue fundraising and will request another grant from Ohio Questers to complete the restoration of more headstones.

The good news is that with the interest of the David Hudson Questers, the city is committed to providing funds to continue the preservation of this iconic cemetery, and most recently received a generous donation from a Hudson resident as well as a grant for $17,000 that the city applied for from Ohio History Center in Columbus.

David Hudson Questers are excited about this new interest is maintaining the Hudson forebearer’s last resting place. Questers believe "remembering our past and being grateful for the people on whose shoulders we stand should be important to those who follow."

For more information about David Hudson Questers or Ohio Questers, contact Cindy Newton at cnewton2251@gmail.com.

One shows our President Eileen Guinta with a repaired headstone, along with a photo of the before and after of a broken headstone.