Waterloo resident and college professor Nancy Wack learned about Eagle Cliff-Miles Cemetery from her youngest daughter, Barbara. It was a fortuitous discovery, one that led Nancy to write a book about the historic site that is the final resting place for Monroe County residents dating as far back as the Revolutionary War.
“So many don’t realize the history there,” said Wack, a professor of religion and philosophy at American Public University. “It’s something to be proud of.”
With the help of her daughter, who served as research assistant and chief photographer, and Kerry Patrick, a descendant of the Miles family, Wack has compiled a comprehensive history of one of the oldest historic sites in Monroe County. It includes images of the headstones, family trees, letters and past newspaper articles, deeds and family histories of Monroe County’s earliest residents.
“It was fun, and I learned so much,” Wack said. “Not just about the cemetery, but the process, about bringing it back to life, the memories of the people buried there.”
Eagle Cliff-Miles Cemetery has been the site of extensive repairs and renovations over the past two years. Decades of graffiti were removed from the mausoleum, and surveillance cameras were installed. Most recently, the mausoleum’s wing walls, which were collapsing, were rebuilt, and a section of the original iron fence that en- closed the mausoleum has been located.
Cemetery trustees have set up a fund with Monroe County, which has provided $20,000 for the work, largely from donations. And there is much more work yet to be done.
Wack’s book, Eagle Cliff-Miles Cemetery, can be purchased online at www.Amazon.com, and will be available for purchase at the Republic-Times office starting next week.
All proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Eagle Cliff-Miles Cemetery Fund.