Bold Pilgrim Cemetery Preservation Workshop April 30th in Morrilton, AR

Bold Pilgrim Cemetery Preservation Workshop

Bold Pilgrim Cemetery Preservation Workshop

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will host a free cemetery workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30th at the Bold Pilgrim Cemetery, Morrilton, Arkansas.

James “Rusty” Brenner of Cemetery Preservation Supply LLC and Texas Cemetery Restoration LLC will teach the hands-on workshop focusing on how to clean, re-set, and repair tombstones. Registration is limited to 40 people. To register for the workshop or for more information, contact Holly Hope at or visit the AHPP website here.  The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources.  You can find the AHPP on Facebook here.

Arkansas Historic Preservaion Program

The Bold Pilgrim Cemetery is a fascinating cemetery with a rich history.  Click here for more information regarding the Bold Pilgrim Cemetery! According to the Bold Pilgrim Cemetery Preservation Association, Bold Pilgrim Cemetery:

 . . . has served the African American community of rural Conway County, Arkansas, since the late 1800s. Unlike many cemeteries of that era that were tied to specific churches, Bold Pilgrim was a community based cemetery and served members of many churches . . .  Bold Pilgrim Cemetery is located about seven miles northwest of Morrilton, Arkansas, in Conway County off State Highway 9 at the end of Bold Pilgrim Road.

[The cemetery is believed to contain] . . . 564 gravesites.  Ninety-six of the 564 graves within Bold Pilgrim are marked with commercial or homemade headstones that are still legible and document the date of death of the person interred.  The inscriptions on other gravestones have been obscured by age and/or the elements and cannot be deciphered.  A large number of graves are marked by simple sandstone field markers.  The remaining graves are visible only as depressions.  Commercial headstones are made of sandstone slabs, white marble, limestone, granite, fancy marble, and bronze World War I and II tablets.  Motifs on the decorated stones include the pointing finger, lamb, sheep, a flying dove, a carved marble stump, the cross, shepherd’s crook, and a star with the phrase ‘The Lord is my Shepherd.”  Commercial stone shapes include pedestals, carved rolls, triangles, semi-circular top bevels, and rectangles with and without bevels.  Stones for four women were provided by burial societies.  Three are from the Mosaic Templars of America.  The fourth is from the International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor.