Cemetery hopes new tool will straighten headstones


CONSTABLEVILLE, New York (WWNY) – A headstone jack will be used to help set the record straight at Constableville Rural Cemetery.

With about 220 years of history, the cemetery has seen some rocks tipping or falling.

The cemetery association board wanted to restore the stones, but they are too heavy to simply lift and replace.

That’s where the Northern New York Community Foundation came in. The council applied for and won a $4,000 grant through the Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund.

The money was set aside by the Sawyers to strengthen and improve the communities of Boonville, Constableville and Westernville.

The cemetery will purchase a tombstone jack with the money.

Peter Hayes is a director on the board of directors of the association of cemeteries.

“It’s really a multi-step step that we intend to take to restore the appearance of the cemetery, so you need a nudge, something to start with,” he said.

Now that they can get to work, Hayes says the biggest problem is just finding some of the plot owners as they are tasked with maintaining their own stones and some are so old it can be difficult to find. find relatives.

“Or they’re such a distant relative that there’s not much point in maintaining the monuments,” Hayes said.

However, Hayes says they are moving on with who they know. Each parcel will take 2-3 hours to fix with the jack but they could use more labor.

It will begin this fall and continue until its living history returns to its ancient roots.

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