Madison Founders Preservation Group Down to Last Member

MADISON - In 1979, the city of Madison nearly leveled the Barnes Cemetery to make way for new construction.

A group of residents raised the funds to purchase the cemetery. Over the decades the deteriorating graves were collected and placed on a commemorative cross.

Over four decades later, the group's exploits are now archived by its last surviving member, Gene Trine living just east of Madison.

"I think they're all gone, to the best of my knowledge," Trine said. "My brother was just about the only one left."

"He approved me to be the secretary of he board, and he has since passed and so has everybody else."

Trine's file includes newspaper clippings documenting the effort to preserve the site and the strides it has taken to collect and maintain the grave stones that were once erected in honor of Madison founders.

He says the cemetery's ownership is being transferred to the Madison cemetery association.