This Memorial Day week, Kaatscast visited two cemeteries where historians are taking steps to memorialize former Catskills residents in the towns of Delhi and Roxbury. At the Roxbury Methodist Church cemetery, gravestones obscured by years of algae and lichen growth are being restored with a special cleaning agent and elbow grease. And in Delhi, a poorhouse cemetery lost in time is finally getting the recognition and care that it deserves. [Read more…] about A Delaware County Cemeteries Podcast
As the Town of Niagara Historian I’m researching the lives of those buried in one of our local cemeteries. Witmer Cemetery was originally the burying ground of the Witmer family, who settled here after arriving from Pennsylvania in 1811. The earliest gravestone in the cemetery is from 1828, but it’s estimated that about 200 people have been buried there since.
I began my research at the front row, where a toppled headstone marked the final resting place of George Martin and Jane, his wife. [Read more…] about Slave To Soldier: George Martin’s Fight For Freedom
This week on The Historians Podcast, Jerry Snyder of Historic Amsterdam League recounts the story of the League’s popular “ghost tours” of Amsterdam’s Green Hill Cemetery. He also discusses the history of the Amsterdam Fire Department.
Timing is everything! While contemplating a unique marker in the Sackets Harbor military cemetery a puzzling question came up. Why was Henderson, NY resident Joseph Hawkins, who never served in the military, buried in the military cemetery?
Coincidentally, Henderson Historical Society’s Eric Anderson was simultaneously researching Joseph Hawkins and shared clues. [Read more…] about A Military Cemetery Mystery Solved
Johannes LeFevre was born in New Paltz on May 26, 1837, to Josiah P. LeFevre and his wife, Elizabeth. Around New Paltz, his family was known as the Bontecoe LeFevres because of their large farm, just outside town.
The oldest child of seven, Johannes was born in his father’s stone house on what is today White Duck Road in New Paltz, off Route 32. The home had been built by Daniel LeFevre. Later, Josiah built a home in 1849, on the opposite side of Route 32. Both houses remain standing and look much as they did during Johannes’s lifetime.
Graveyards are for the living. It’s something I think about every autumn, when my local Pine Ridge Cemetery in Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks comes alive with children on our annual fifth grade field trip.
Ahead of time, the students research a person buried there. As we walk down to the graveyard from school, excitement builds. Upon arrival the kids race around, looking excitedly for their person. It’s like a bizarre version of an Easter egg hunt. [Read more…] about Life in the Graveyard
The Albert Wisner Library in Warwick, Orange County, is set to host researcher Marisa Hayes, who will share her studies of headstone design in the Hudson Valley’s oldest cemeteries.
Her talk will focus on styles from the colonial period through the Civil War and participants will discover how decorations and motifs reflect the social identities and views of death held by people of the region. [Read more…] about Grave Encounters: Hudson Valley Headstone Design
Michael T. Keene’s new book New York City’s Hart Island: A Cemetery of Strangers takes a look at Hart Island, where more than one million bodies are buried in unmarked graves, just off the coast of the Bronx in Long Island Sound.
The islands first public use was as a Civil War prison and United States Colored Troops training site and later a psychiatric hospital. The island became the repository for New York City’s unclaimed dead. It’s mass graves are a microcosm of New York history, from the 1822 burial crisis to casualties of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and victims of the AIDS epidemic. Important artists who died in poverty have been discovered buried there, including Disney star Bobby Driscol and playwright Leo Birinski. [Read more…] about A Cemetery of Strangers: NYC’s Hart Island
The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is set to present “Twilight Cemetery Tour: Madness, Murder, Untimely Deaths, and Strange Coincidences,” a rare opportunity to explore Greenridge Cemetery at dusk, on Tuesday, October 29th with a knowledgeable guide. [Read more…] about Twilight Cemetery Tour in Saratoga Springs