The Friends of Silverbrook Cemetery, working with the city government of Niles, Michigan, is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the historic Silverbrook Cemetery.

Monthly Meetings

The Friends of Silverbrook Cemetery meet the third Thursday each month at 7 p.m. at the Niles Law Enforcement Complex, located at Main St and Silverbrook Ave.

In addition to discussing progress made with our restoration and education projects, we feature a Guest Speaker. Past speakers have given talks about the history of Niles, gravestone restoration, and biographies of leading citizens. Many of our members also have interests in genealogy and local history. Members, nonmembers, and guests are always welcome to attend at no cost.


When one thinks poetically of a lighthouse keeper, imagining tends to lean to that of a solitary man standing in the top deck of a tall white and red lighthouse perched on a craggy piece of rock at world's end.

A close look at Thomas Fitzgerald dispels such a vision quickly.

Thomas Fitzgerald was born April 10, 1796 in Germantown, New York. He served in the War of 1812 and was injured at the Battle of Lundy's Lane which took place at the site of present day Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

It is not exactly clear how or why Fitzgerald made the transition from New York to Indiana however shows that from 1825 to 1827 he served in the Indiana State legislature.

He then was a probate judge there in 1829.

Fitzgerald made the transition to St. Joseph, where in 1832, he was appointed lighthouse keeper at St. Joseph.

Click here for the full article on the Niles Daily Star website

Published January 17th, 2009