OCONTO (WLUK) -- A monument to remember those at a local cemetery will be dedicated on Saturday.
More than 300 people are buried in what's known as a potter's field, or common ground, set aside for those not able to pay for a burial.
At the Oconto Evergreen Cemetery, stones typically mark most of the 7,000 gravesites there. Names and dates help tell the story of the people buried below. But a new monument is bringing 287 previously unidentified people to light. One of those is Jennie O. Gabrielson.
"Yeah, here's my -- died as an infant, Jennie, who was the first born in America. And it was a new immigrant family from Norway, and they really didn't have the money at that time to buy a plot, so they took advantage of the common ground," said Pete Gabrielson, Oconto County Historical Society.
Gabrielson found out about his distant relative while researching a project for a local history magazine. Through cemetery records, old newspaper articles and talking with family members, Gabrielson says more than 300 people are buried in at least two areas, also known as potter's fields.
"It's like we got to do something to identify this area, to give it the real sacred meaning that it has, it already has. Having a name associated with a burial and an unknown common ground, it's like for everybody too," he said.
Gabrielson says after more than five years of research and supply chain issues, the monument is ready. He will host a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
"I'm really happy. I'm glad it's done. I enjoyed the ride, and it's time for me to move and get out of the way, and let people just enjoy the Potter's Field Memorial Plaza. The Oconto Evergreen Plaza, that this is us, and this is us," he said.
Organizers say there are likely more names to be found through research, but Saturday's event will be the only formal dedication of the Potter's Field Memorial Plaza.