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Elmwood Memorial Day CelebrationWith continued foresight, the Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery identified the need to grow awareness of Elmwood Cemetery and to adopt a structure that would allow all organizations interested in restoring historic places and sharing history with others to aid in its support. In 2005 the HIstoric Elmwood Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) corporation. This complemented the not-for-profit cemetery and enabled the HIstoric Elmwood Foundation to pursue donations from other foundations, corporate and private, as well as personal donations.

The cemetery trustees chose a Board of Directors. Cemetery Trustee Miss Terry Book, a descendant of an original cemetery trustee, accepted the charge to guide and develop the Foundation. Directors were chosen for the Board for their commitment to Elmwood, Detroit and history. Miss Book led the foundation board until July 2023 and then passed the reins to another founding board member, Mr. James Deutchman.

The Foundation Board has revitalized community events at Elmwood with its robust tour program, and including Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations. Also, it has brought new programs to Elmwood with Arbor Day festivities, Donor Receptions, Civil War and American Revolutionary War dedications, poetry readings, photography classes, picnics next to the pond. In 2015, Elmwood was proud to be the sole Detroit cemetery to take part in the Wreaths Across America Celebration, designed to place wreaths on the graves of our nation’s veterans. Through the Elmwood Foundation's programs, thousands come to Elmwood each year to experience and enjoy the grounds.

The Board has increased its outreach to the community and sought grants to make Elmwood widely accessible. We have added benches for visitors and placed them throughout the cemetery along our most highly visited areas, and a transportation vehicle for the disabled to use while on tours, or visiting sites with our staff.

The Board of Directors works closely with the Trustee of Elmwood Cemetery as they select restoration projects. These have included the gatehouse, chapel, pond, gardens, arboretum and roadways. Tremendous progress has been made in restoring the treasure that is Elmwood Cemetery.

The Foundation has expanded its educational outreach through the development of self-guided tour maps, available free of charge in the office. These maps on Leadership Legacies, Business Visionaries, and African American Heritage are also downloadable as an audio tour, thanks to the generosity of a grant by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The Foundation also has developed three self-guided tree tour maps and placed tree identification markers on various species throughout the property and a map of those inolved in the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

The Historic Elmwood Foundation's Board of Directors is actively studying options to pursue its mission: To preserve the history and educational significance of the Cemetery and those laid to rest in the cemetery; and to develop social, cultural, and educational programs to benefit the community.

The Officers and Directors of the Historic Elmwood Foundation:

James Deutchman
Interim President & Vice President
John S. Snyder
Reverend Steven J. Kelly
Elizabeth Thurber Crawford
Susan Hendrie Rohde

Joan Frear Capuano
Executive Director