Advocates for the measure are urging readers to contact their state legislators to act swiftly to pass the New York State Unmarked Burial Site Protection Act (2023-S630) and send it to the Governor before the legislative session ends in June. [Read more…] about Advocates: Pass The Unmarked Burial Site Protection Act
Marble tombstones are usually considered permanent objects in a cemetery. Yet, the stone erected to remember Phillip Rice has been found in several locations before finally being installed at Veteran’s Circle in Corinth Rural Cemetery in Saratoga County, NY.
Phillip Rice, born in Albany in 1822, was the son of Thomas Rice. By 1855 he was married to Martha Stead, a native of England, and living in Corinth. Phillip was a leather worker and was also listed as a shoemaker. At the age of 38 he enlisted in the army in the 30th Infantry Company G that was organized in Saratoga Springs. [Read more…] about Saratoga County’s Traveling Tombstone
In light of The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s advocacy for Downing Park in Newburgh, NY, and the proposed reinterment at the historic designed landscape of remains from a former African American burial site, I thought I would weigh in with some thoughts of my own on the subject. [Read more…] about A Proposed Memorial at Newburgh’s Downing Park
On August 25th, 1823, Mary McConnell, wife of Teunis Vandeveer, died at the age of 28. Her body was laid to rest in the Second Presbyterian Church’s lot at the State Street Burying Grounds in Albany, NY. Laid to rest until 1868, that is.
When the City closed the old Burying Grounds to make way for Washington Park to be developed, her grave was one of 14,000 transferred to the Albany Rural Cemetery, which had been established in 1844.
Her headstone did not make the journey with her coffin until last fall. [Read more…] about An Albany Gravestone Goes Home
In the Milltown Rural Cemetery located in the Town of Southeast, Putnam County, NY, there is a small, well-weathered military headstone that offers a faint hint to a story of courage and glory.
There lies a hero from the Civil War, a Black veteran, who didn’t live long enough for post-war decoration or celebration, and one who has regularly been misreported in history books, until now. [Read more…] about NY’s Frank Myers Of The 54th Massachusetts: Correcting The Historical Record
Each fall, tens of thousands of people from around the world flock to Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, New York to visit the burial ground made famous in Washington Irving’s 1819 tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In Irving’s tale of “the Headless Horseman,” a German soldier is said to return to the grave-site, in search of his head that was lost during America’s Revolutionary War. [Read more…] about Hulda of Bohemia: The Accused Witch of Sleepy Hollow
Curt Stager’s scholarly demeanor cracked on July 4th when he spread three small plastic baggies of soil on three graves of Black Adirondackers at Union Cemetery on state Route 3 in Vermontville, Franklin County, NY.
Stager didn’t know any of these people personally. They all died in the late 1800s. But in researching their lives, Stager, a Paul Smith’s College biology professor, said he’s become immensely respectful of their fights for freedom for all Americans, on the battlefield, or at home. [Read more…] about Black Adirondack Farmers, Escaped Slaves, Civil War Veterans, Remembered at Union Cemetery
Helping him has been his friend Dale Ackley. Former town historian Sharon Moon and Cemetery of the Evergreens board members have been working at it, too. The undertaking has been immense, and, if they succeed in their goal to restore headstones, it will be very costly. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Veterans in New Lebanon’s Cemetery of the Evergreens
The ossuary under the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini at Via Veneto in Rome houses the skulls and bones of some 4,000 former Capuchin monks who were interred there between 1631 and 1870. The dead were buried without coffin and later exhumed to make room for newly deceased. Their remains were transformed into “decorative designs.”
In the summer of 1867 Mark Twain visited the Capuchin Convent and recorded his observations of the crypt’s “picturesque horrors” in The Innocents Abroad. What the novelist witnessed were arches built of thigh bones; pyramids constructed of “grinning” skulls; and other structures made of shin and arm bones. Walls were decorated with frescoes showing vines produced of knotted vertebrae; tendrils made of sinews and tendons; and flowers formed of knee-caps and toe-nails. [Read more…] about Macabre Mania From Charles Allan Gilbert to Andy Warhol
This week’s guest on The Historians Podcast is Peter Betz of Fulton County who explains how he was able to help a family acquire a grave marker at no cost for a deceased family member who was a United States Army veteran.
Betz is a member of the Perth town council and president of the Perth Center Cemetery Association. He found that a veteran who died in recent years was buried next to his wife who had died in 2010. His wife had a headstone but the veteran, Howard Forgette, did not. [Read more…] about A Grave Marker for an American Veteran