Creating the Cemetery Walk, 1982


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We have only one good view of the graveyard without the path. The picture on the left was taken by photographer, Frances Benjamin Johnston during her trip to Fredericksburg in 1927. At that time there doesn’t appear to be a path since there was no McGuire Hall to enter. The photo on the right shows Hollomon’s brick walk with a contemporary picture taken close to Johnston’s picture. McGuire Hall was dedicated in 1959. After McGuire was created there were only stepping stones to the new entrance into McGuire.

The August 11, 1982, Vestry Meeting motion was simple. “Bill Hollomon moved that the walkway through the church yard be replaced with brick at a cost of up to $700, the funding to come from the Parish Restoration Fund and if not possible by the general fund. It was seconded by Peyton Rowe and was carried.” This seemingly came out of nowhere as there was no discussion of this step in 1982 before this date.

The story told 35 years later by Clyde Matthews, who was on the Vestry and present at the time, was that he had to do this when Church treasurer Charles Hooten was absent who would have opposed such a motion. As Clyde explained, Hooten was very “tight” with the church’s money. Although he was not on the Vestry, his opinion would have carried substantial weight with the Vestry. Apparently, an earlier special meeting was held about this step but which is not recorded in the Vestry minutes Also absent was Charles Sydnor, Barbara Willis, Cliff Andressen and seminarian assistant, Randall Clingenpeel.

Bill Hollomon served the Vestry 4 times: 1971-1974,1976-1978, 1980-1982 and 1985-1987. He became Junior Warden in the latter year when David Medich departed. Hollomon was able to get the labor to create the walk at a cheaper price through his connection with the National Park Service. They were involved in another brick project close to the church at the time. The plaque was purchased by Clyde Matthews at the time for about $50.

In the same year as the walk was passed, the Vestry approved Hollomon, Dover Moore and Avis Harris to proceed with their plans to remodel the Parish Hall

Hollomon was also active with the organ restoration of the 1980’s. He brought the plaque with sample brass engravings for gifts of $1,000 or better and had the “Book of Remembrance” created by Mike Berta with hand tooled red leather and many pages of heavy paper tipped with gold. He also worked on the restoration of the Parish House prior to sale.

Hollomon was the head of the National Park Service in Fredericksburg during part of his time at St. George’s. He began his career in 1938 as a seasonal park ranger at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Calif., and subsequently served in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. He was Superintendent of Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville, Tenn. before moving to Fredericksburg in the same position. He retired twice from the Park service, once in 1972 when he had been a park planner. Once he had retired the first time, the Governor of Virginia prevailed on him to serve on the Virginia Council on the Environment. Finally in the middle of 1978, he retired for the final time.

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