Sierra Vista historic cemetery dedication

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Between the Monument Fire and flooding, the city of Sierra Vista has had its fair share of troubles in recent months.

But Friday there was something to smile about, the dedication of Fry Cemetery as a state and National Historic Site.

Car after car on 7th Street in Sierra Vista passes by the walls of the Fry Pioneer Cemetery.

Some drivers may not know, they're driving by a piece of the city's history.

"The family was being buried here between the '20s and '30s you know," said Sierra Vista resident Nacho Valenzuela.

The family buried inside and outside the cemetery walls is the Fry family.  They played a major role in the development of what is now modern day Sierra Vista.

"It was the Fry's that came here to serve the soldiers by setting up a post office and a store," said Former Sierra Vista Council-member Henrietta Huisking.

Back in 2004, the city was trying to think of a way to preserve history and Fry Cemetery came to mind.

Seven years and a lot of work later, it's now a National Historic Site.

"We didn't have to make up the history the history was here," said Huisking.

Descendants of the Fry family still live in town.  In fact, some members played an active role in the historical process.

"I joined the committee and so did my daughter Maggie and we worked on it together to first raise the money to buy the cemetery," said Fry family descendant Carolyn Marquette.

Carolyn Marquette's father-in-law was Cecil Fry, a well-known landowner in the area.

Friday she was surrounded by her grand kids and says this is a proud moment for the family.

"It's very nice all the important people in town to be here and show their support and it was a very good feeling, very much an honor," said Marquette.

The Fry Cemetery dedication was postponed until Friday because of the Monument Fire, which absorbed most of the city's resources and staff.