Four Fermilab sites eligible for national historic register

On Tuesday, May 20, at noon, Fermilab’s Adrienne Kolb will provide a Pioneer Cemetery walk. Photo: Fermilab

Recently representatives from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) and the Kane County Historic Preservation Commission (KCHPC) visited the lab. They accompanied Fermilab and DOE Fermi Site Office personnel, along with subcontractor Midwest Archaeological Research Services, to four sites that are being considered for eligibility on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). They took interior photographs at the sites for further review by IHPA, since these particular sites’ architectural merits are the reasons they are under consideration for NRHP eligibility. The IHPA, with input from KCHPC and the National Register Committee, will now decide upon eligibility in the register.

Several other sites may be eligible for inclusion on the NRHP and are color-coded in yellow on the map (in Appendix A of Archaeological and Architectural Assessment of Historic Properties within Fermilab), while others are not eligible and are color-coded in green. One site that has been determined eligible for inclusion on the NRHP, the Pioneer Cemetery, is color-coded in red.

The Pioneer Cemetery, pictured above, at Fermilab dates from the early 19th century. Buried in the cemetery are the remains of about 20 people. One was General Thompson Mead, a veteran of the War of 1812, who moved to Illinois when he retired after serving in the New York State Militia. The cemetery was rededicated on Sept. 24, 1972, (see photo below). Fermilab’s founding director, Robert Wilson, was laid to rest there in 2000.

Additional information about the rich history of Fermilab can be found in the Archaeological and Architectural Assessment, which provides an overview of historic properties, including archaeological investigations and background research, as well as an architectural assessment, which evaluates the architectural merits of those historic properties with standing buildings and structures. This was done because most, if not all, of the 350 buildings and structures present on the parcel when the State of Illinois purchased the 77 individual farms that became the Fermilab site are now at least 50 years old. This is the minimum age for consideration concerning inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fermilab Historian and Archivist Adrienne Kolb will host a Pioneer Cemetery Walk tomorrow, May 20, at noon for those who are interested in learning more. Meet at site 38 (click on site 39 to zoom in). Ellen Lockyer has kindly invited those attending to come to her house at site 29 for refreshments after the walk. You may bring a picnic lunch. An RSVP is needed by today at 5 p.m. to Cynthia Albright at 630‐638‐8010. All ages are welcome, but children must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Teri Dykhuis, ESH&Q, NEPA and Cultural Resources (including Historical Properties) coordinator

Donald R. Getz (center), NAL assistant director, spoke at the September 24th ceremony rededicating the grave of General Thompson Mead in NAL’s Pioneer Cemetery in 1972. Photo: Fermilab