Tolomato Cemetery preservation efforts recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution reported to Historic City News that they honored the officers of the Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Association with the “NSDAR Historic Preservation Recognition Award” for their exceptional leadership of the cemetery association since its inception 10 years ago. The awards were presented to Elizabeth Gessner, president; Nick McAuliffe, vice president emeritus; Janet Jordan, treasurer; and Louise Kennedy, secretary.

As part of the recognition, the National Vice Chairman for Historic Preservation Recognition Awards Sally Patterson, sent along a letter. Lynne Cason, Florida State DAR Historic Preservation Committee chairman, presented the awards along with a pin and a copy of the letter from the national vice chairman.

“Historic Preservation is one of the objectives of the National Society and this award recognizes outstanding volunteer work at the community level,” Shirley Thompson, past chapter regent, said on behalf of chapter Regent Deborah Brannon. “We are excited to recognize the valuable work of this dedicated group. The Maria Jefferson Chapter has worked closely with the Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Association for many years and has witnessed firsthand its many accomplishments.”

To a large degree, America’s early history is focused on New England and the 13 colonies.  So much so, that many forget how early and how long the Spanish, particularly Bernardo de Galvez, assisted in the American Revolution.  To see this part of our country’s history preserved is welcome news.

“St. Augustine is steeped in history. The city is so blessed to recognize this history and to have dedicated volunteers such as these,” the national vice chairman wrote.  “There is so much more to the proper care and maintenance of a historic cemetery than most people understand, so I genuinely appreciate the dedication and hard work of these volunteers.  It is a labor of devotion.”

Pictured, from left, Shirley Thomson; Don and Joan Roberts, accepting awards on behalf of Nick McAuliffe and Louise Kennedy; Elizabeth Gessner; Janet Jordan; and Lynne Cason.  To learn more about the chapter and its work in St Augustine, visit

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