Sale of Innes Gardens Memorial Park Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery Complete | Port Macquarie News

news, breaking news, nnes Gardens Memorial Park, Lawn Crematorium and Cemetery, sale, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Walker Funeral Group, 2020

The Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery in Innes Gardens Memorial Park are no longer the property of the Council. The sale marks the end of a process that began with testing market interest in the potential sale or lease of the facility at Philip Charley Drive. This decision proved controversial with a petition and a protest. The Port Macquarie-Hastings council decided in August 2019 to negotiate the terms and enter into a sales contract for the Innes Gardens Memorial Park Lawn Crematorium and Cemetery. The sale closed on July 1, 2020. The new owner is Innes Gardens Memorial Park Holdings, which is part of the Walker Funeral Group. The Walker Funeral Group, as part of the sales contract, has also committed to invest in capital improvements to the facility over the next 12 months. Any pre-paid perpetual burials, interment rights or cremation rights already granted by the council will be transferred and honored. Board Director Rebecca Olsen said the Walker Funeral Group investment, which would include the proposed construction of an on-site function center and general upgrades to the existing facility, would ensure the best possible continued service delivery. cremation, lawn cemetery and remembrance. “Throughout the sales process, Walker Funeral Group has demonstrated its commitment to improving the current level of service and expanding the range of facilities and services available to our community,” said Ms. Olsen. “The community consultation identified a number of things that were important to our community, including the continued operation of the site as a lawn crematorium and graveyard, the ongoing maintenance and protection of graves and remains. cremation, compliance with existing reservations and pre-paid burials, and “These important elements, as well as the protection of the existing koala habitat at the site, have been addressed by the terms of the sales contract. Walker Funeral Group owners David and Melissa Walker have said they intend to continue operating Innes Gardens Memorial Park as a public facility. “We understand the importance of providing the community with access to affordable burial and cremation options, and believe that we can strengthen and improve existing services, through the careful deployment of capital, offering different styles of commemoration, and mostly an integrated on-site refreshment bar and café, “said Walker Sai re.” Operationally we will see minimal changes to the current processes and procedures with the current staff remaining the same. “We have relied on their knowledge and will continue to do so in the future. “We thank them and the board for their help with the transition. Innes Gardens Memorial Park includes a 150-seat chapel, administrative offices, extensive grounds and Memorial Gardens It offers a range of crematorium, lawn cemetery and commemoration services to the community in conjunction with the funeral services provided by ar the local funeral directors. Hastings District Regional Funeral and Cremation Service Director Brian Hutchison believes Innes Gardens Memorial Park should have remained the property of the council. “I just hope it works for the community,” he said. Mid Coast Funeral and Cremation Service echoed Mr. Hutchison’s point of view. Brendan Nugent of Mark G Hammond Funeral Services and Wauchope and District Funerals said he was encouraged by the new owner’s future plans to offer more options to families and by their agreement to honor prepaid arrangements. Mr Nugent was critical of the board’s communication process leading up to the finalization of the sale, but was pleased with the new owner’s communication with the funeral directors. The proceeds of the sale will be placed in a reserve to finance future projects and / or municipal services. The council continues to manage 11 cemeteries. What else does the news do, sports? Thank you for promoting local journalism with your subscription. While you’re with us, you can also receive updates straight to your inbox from Port Macquarie News. To be up to date with all the news, sign up here.

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The interesting life of Emil Ambos, the fisherman of Green Lawn cemetery

At first glance, a visit to a cemetery in the midst of a pandemic can seem like an uncomfortably gloomy thing to do. Who should we remind of the fragility of our existence when the signs are all around us? On the other hand, cemeteries can offer a good alternative to overcrowded parks.

In fact, most American cities have at least one large cemetery that was designed as much to be a place of recreation for the living as it was a repository for the dead. In Columbus, that location is Green Lawn Cemetery.

Founded in 1848, Green Lawn was part of a shift in the mid-19th century from cramped urban cemeteries to rolling, well-maintained memorial parks. This was called the Rural Cemeteries Movement. The emphasis on beauty and scenery in such cemeteries makes them a great place to enjoy nature, but they offer much more than that. Their stones, statues, mausoleums and crypts tell us who we were, who we are and how we want to be remembered. Usually this is done subtly with a symbol here or a phrase there, but every once in a while you come across the grave of someone so vibrant that neither marble nor granite nor bronze can contain the spirit. of the person buried inside.

One of the best examples of such a monument in Green Lawn Cemetery is that of Emil Ambos, a fun-loving sportsman whose likeness is immortalized in bronze as he eternally indulges in his pass- preferred time, fishing. This life-affirming statue stands in stark contrast to the austere obelisks and dismal angels that commonly adorn tombs from this era. It also says a lot about the character of the person under his feet.

Emil Ambos’s grave. Photo by Bucky Cutright.

Emil was born in what was considered the aristocracy of the South Side in 1844. His father, Peter, arrived in Columbus from the Rhineland in 1832 and quickly made a name for himself by opening the first candy store in the city. Following his success, he later became a leader in industry and finance, co-founding what is now PNC Bank in 1863. Emil’s mother, Dorothea, was the daughter of a pioneer German village landowner. and retired captain in the Austrian army. , Christian Jaeger.

As a young man, Emil traveled to Gambier, where he studied botany at Kenyon College. After graduating, the 22-year-old gave up a career in his field of study and returned to Columbus to open a store specializing in the sale of fine liquors and imported food products.

Peter Ambos Image courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Digital Image Collection.

Like his father, Emil turned out to be a successful businessman and his store flourished. Rather than raising a family, he remained single and spent most of his adult life enjoying the finer things in his luxurious townhouse at 40 W. Town St. There he had a punch bowl. sculpted in the lava of Mount Vesuvius, Italian marble statues and a bathtub topped with zinc. A bridge on the second floor led to a stable where he kept his precious collection of nearly twenty horses and ponies.

While Emil clearly loved to surround himself with lavish decadence, he had also inherited his mother’s deep sense of empathy for those less fortunate. Each year, as the cold set in, he would take troops of poor and orphaned children to Lazarus, had them each put on winter clothes, and then happily sent them on their warm and joyful journey. He would lead this chaotic scene with his trusty golden-tipped walking stick, a precious accessory presented to him on New Years Day 1877 for having the most beautiful and fastest horse on Town Street.

A few months before Emil was given this fancy cane, he interrupted his single life to marry a young woman named Clara Owen. Their marriage ended abruptly three years later, following intriguing allegations that newspapers at the time would only describe as “rather racy in character.”

While the indiscretions that led to the couple’s divorce may have been kept private, one thing that was no secret was Emil’s love for fishing. It was said that he would jump at the slightest suggestion to cast a line at any time of the night or day. After his retirement, at age 39, his desire to fish only grew. To further indulge in his hobby, he purchased a 116-acre country getaway with Great Twin Lakes off Winchester Pike. He called this place Ambos Park.

Almost every day, Emil would recruit his family and friends to join him for an afternoon of leisure and relaxation by the lakes. Some of his most frequent guests were impoverished children, whom he often gathered for a brief escape from the polluted slums and the drudgery of their daily lives. To amuse the children, he built a “comic hut” on one of the small islands in the lake, with a small well for water and a stuffed deer in the yard. He also acquired a menagerie of animals that served as a petting zoo and a fleet of “fun boats” for children to navigate the lakes.

Emil Ambos Image courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Digital Image Collection.

One of Emil’s most unusual acts of benevolence took place on Christmas Eve in 1896. That night he threw a party that would have been as comfortable in a Roald Dahl story as in any. what was written by Charles Dickens.

The festivities began when 15 needy children were led out of the cold and into the opulent residence of Emil Town Street. For three hours that night, delighted guests watched the children playing games, singing, being fed a big feast (but not before Emil played a prank on the young by serving them water. enriched with alum) and received gifts under a Christmas tree topped with a possum in a silk hat. At the end of the evening, Emil remarked that these are some of the shortest and happiest hours he has spent in years.

The following winter was less cheerful. Following a brief illness, the beloved “Uncle Ame” of Columbus died of complications in the liver on March 26, 1898. He was 53 years old. But its story does not end there.

True to his legacy of charity and generosity, Emil bequeathed the most attractive 30 acres of his country estate to the city for use as a park. While debating whether or not to accept this gift, a city council member had questions for the deceased, so a psychic was hired to summon Emil’s ghost. Once communication was established, Emil Ambos’ ethereal voice told the city councilor that from the tomb’s perspective, he could see how many “short skates” the city council was and that he only cared about Columbus. have the land. Furious, the insulted man joined the council’s majority dissent vote and Emil du Parc’s gift was turned down. Eventually, the land was sold to a Grove City farmer before being converted into a golf course and finally into the Berwick area which occupies the site today.

Another provision of Emil’s will was that $ 1,000 would be donated to the children’s hospital, but not before the interest accrued on the money was used to host two jubilant fish fry banquets for his friends and fellow fishermen. These events, one in 1905 and the other in 1908, saw a downtown boardroom transformed into a natural wonderland, with ponds full of fish, tree-lined walls, tents pitched on sandbanks and waiters dressed as camp scouts. A life-size, strangely lit photo of Emil surrounded by plants and vines presided over both celebrations.

Looking back, a lawyer studying the elaborate 17 pages will comment: “If someone were to ask me if there is someone else I would rather be, I would say Emil Ambos. He looked like he was having so much fun.

In 2019, the statue that commemorates the short but well-lived life of Emil Ambos was deemed historically significant by the Smithsonian Institution and under the direction of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association the monument was fully restored, ensuring that the memory of his subject will live. for the coming years.

Ghost tours

To learn more about this and other mysterious stories about the University District and the city as a whole, venture out for an evening of dark stories from Columbus’ past offered throughout the year by Columbus Ghost Tours . Tickets and information available on www.columbusghosttours.com.

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Historic Green Lawn Cemetery Bike Tour

NOTE: This tour is largely outdoors and can be done safely with social distancing and proper safety precautions throughout. Do not hesitate to bring a mask if you wish.

Outdoor Pursuits has partnered with the Green Lawn Cemetery Association to provide guided tours of the Green Lawn Cemetery. The bike tour is narrated by naturalist and historian Randy Rogers. It’s a great way for the casual cyclist to experience the rich history contained in this large, iconic cemetery.

The tour will start and end in front of Green Lawn Abbey, a short distance from the cemetery.

Green Lawn Cemetery is one of the oldest and largest cemeteries in Ohio. The cemetery represents a vast treasure, encompassing over 200 years of history and is the resting place of many prominent residents of Columbus. The tour will stop at several locations for informative discussions of notable graves, monuments, family mausoleums, and the Huntington Chapel, to name a few. The cemetery is also home to 150 species of trees and several state champion trees, as well as a recognized bird sanctuary.

Columbus Outdoor Pursuits can provide easy-to-ride cruiser-style bikes and helmets, or you can bring your own bike and helmet (please indicate on registration). Please allow approximately 2 hours for the entire visit. Free parking at Green Lawn Abbey, 700 Greenlawn Avenue – the tour departure and arrival point. If the weather conditions do not allow a safe trip, we will reschedule or give you a full refund.

A portion of your registration fee goes to the Green Lawn Cemetery Association.


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Green Lawn cemetery wants to reclaim long unused plots – news – the Columbus Dispatch

Officials at Green Lawn Cemetery have issued a public notice that lists the names of approximately 150 cemetery land owners. They want to recover the lots, where the burial rights have been abandoned for 50 years. On the list is Samuel Prescott Bush, the patriarch of the Bush political family.

Many famous residents of central Ohio and Columbus are buried in Green Lawn Cemetery: Former Governor James A. Rhodes, World War I Ace Eddie Rickenbacker, Comedian James Thurber .

The same is true of Samuel Prescott Bush, the former chairman of Buckeye Steel and the grandfather of the late President George HW Bush, and the great-grandfather of former President George W. Bush.

And, it turns out that Samuel Prescott Bush owned a lot with 14 burial sites in Green Lawn, a fact that the extended Bush family apparently knows nothing about.

Samuel Prescott Bush died in 1948. He was one of some 150 lot owners at Green Lawn listed in a recent public notice indicating that the cemetery intended to recover the interment rights for these lots, which had been abandoned for 50 years.

Any other names on the list? William Oxley Thompson, Ohio State University’s fifth president, died 1933. John G. Deshler, builder of the Deshler Hotel, a landmark in downtown Columbus from 1916 to 1969.

Also, the city of Columbus. And the house of the friendless.

After the notice was published, nearly a dozen people called the cemetery to ask about the lots, said Randy Rogers, president of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association.

“If the next of kin enlist, the family renews the contract, that’s good for another 50 years,” Rogers said.

Sometimes cemetery officials want these lots to provide buffer zones around important sites, such as the Bush site. Other times, they might want the site so they can plant trees, Rogers said.

In an extreme case, a man bought 12 seats in the 1850s and never used them, Rogers said.

“One guess is he moved west,” Rogers said.

It took about 15 to 20 hours to go through the batch books to try to determine which batches were abandoned, he said.

Another person who found out that an extended family member had purchased land that was never used is Kevin Schoedinger, a family member who owns the local funeral homes with that name; he is executive vice-president. Schoedinger is also vice-president of the cemeteries association.

He said John Albert Schoedinger bought the lot in the 1930s.

“We have lost track of it,” he said. His father and two uncles have the rights to the site, he said.

It’s not that Green Lawn Cemetery is short of space, although 154,000 bodies are buried there. Of its 360 acres, 70 still need to be developed. The cemetery was founded on August 2, 1848.

Rogers expects Green Lawn to have enough space that it won’t be retired for another 100 years.

[email protected]

@MarkFerenchik


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Nate Dogg receives new headstone at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach – Daily Breeze

On Saturday, February 29, more than 100 family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new gravestone for rapper, singer, songwriter and actor Nate Dogg at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach.

The Long Beach native’s family got their first glimpse of the gravestone on Friday and found it beautiful.

“It’s a work of art, to say the least,” said Pamela Hale, Nate Dogg’s sister. “The design captures every part of who my brother was, his music, his city, his style – even his military service.”

  • Family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone honoring the life of Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday, February 29, 2020. The Headstone was designed by Tim Morris otherwise known as The Cemetery. Tim. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone honoring the life of Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday, February 29, 2020 (Photo by Brittany) Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone honoring the life of Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday, February 29, 2020 (Photo by Brittany) Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Ruth Holmes shares a few words about her son Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg as family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday February 29 2020. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

Nate Dogg was born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale on August 19, 1969 in Long Beach. His family moved to Mississippi and then back to Long Beach at the age of 14, where he sang alongside his family at New Hope Baptist Church.

After serving three years as a Marine overseas, he returned home and formed the Long Beach-based rap trio, 213, along with his cousin Snoop Dogg and longtime friend Warren G. The three friends found success in the music industry; Nate Dogg has been nominated four times for a Grammy.

Nate Dogg’s career was cut short in 2007 when he suffered a stroke. While recovering less than a year later, he suffered a second stroke and eventually died of complications in 2011.

The rapper remains loved and admired by many members of the community and the music industry. Last month, Nate Dogg’s posthumous voice was used on an Anderson Park album that won Best R&B Grammy.

On Saturday, Pamela Hale recalled the great talent of her little brother, whom she called Buddy.

“A lot of what my brother was is in his music and being able to turn on a radio and still hear his voice is a blessing,” she said. “Hers are missed by so many people and the music world has lost a gift. But his legacy will continue in his music. It is an honor to call my little brother a great talent.

The new marker was created by Tim Morris, known on social media as Cemetery Tim.

Morris began creating unique markers six years ago in his home state of Washington. He is passionate about helping families commemorate their loved ones. He designed tombstones for NWA’s Easy E and TLC’s Lisa Left Eye Lopes.

To learn more about Morris’ work, visit cimetièretim.com.


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Nate Dogg receives new headstone at Forest Lawn cemetery in Long Beach – Press Telegram

On Saturday, February 29, more than 100 family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new gravestone for rapper, singer, songwriter and actor Nate Dogg at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach.

The Long Beach native’s family got their first glimpse of the gravestone on Friday and found it beautiful.

“It’s a work of art, to say the least,” said Pamela Hale, Nate Dogg’s sister. “The design captures every part of who my brother was, his music, his city, his style – even his military service.”

  • Family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new gravestone honoring the life of Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday, February 29, 2020. The gravestone has was designed by Tim Morris otherwise known as The Cemetery. Tim. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone honoring the life of Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday, February 29, 2020 (Photo by Brittany) Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone honoring the life of Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday, February 29, 2020 (Photo by Brittany) Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Ruth Holmes shares a few words about her son Nathaniel Hale, otherwise known as Nate Dogg as family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new headstone at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach on Saturday February 29 2020. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

Nate Dogg was born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale on August 19, 1969 in Long Beach. His family moved to Mississippi and then back to Long Beach at the age of 14, where he sang alongside his family at New Hope Baptist Church.

After serving three years as a Marine overseas, he returned home and formed the Long Beach-based rap trio, 213, along with his cousin Snoop Dogg and longtime friend Warren G. The three friends found success in the music industry; Nate Dogg has been nominated four times for a Grammy.

Nate Dogg’s career was cut short in 2007 when he suffered a stroke. While recovering less than a year later, he suffered a second stroke and eventually died of complications in 2011.

The rapper remains loved and admired by many members of the community and the music industry. Last month, Nate Dogg’s posthumous voice was used on an Anderson Park album that won Best R&B Grammy.

On Saturday, Pamela Hale recalled the great talent of her little brother, whom she called Buddy.

“A lot of what my brother was is in his music and being able to turn on a radio and still hear his voice is a blessing,” she said. “Hers are missed by so many people and the music world has lost a gift. But his legacy will continue in his music. It is an honor to call my little brother a great talent.

The new marker was created by Tim Morris, known on social media as Cemetery Tim.

Morris began creating unique markers six years ago in his home state of Washington. He is passionate about helping families commemorate their loved ones. He designed tombstones for NWA’s Easy E and TLC’s Lisa Left Eye Lopes.

To learn more about Morris’ work, visit cimetièretim.com.


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West Lawn Cemetery: A ‘Place of Peace’ and an Important Part of Johnson City History | Characteristics

West Lawn Cemetery is the final resting place for hundreds of Johnson’s black citizens, many of whom have lived and died without knowing a life outside of apartheid.

It is believed that the land, located on Lowell Street, began to be used as a burial place for black residents of the city in 1902, as whites and blacks at the time could not be buried on the same land. But West Lawn is more than a graveyard – it’s history, especially for those with family buried on its grounds.

“It was the only place African Americans could be buried,” said Lisa Black, West Lawn board member. “There is a lot of history here, a lot of history and that is important to me because both my parents and my two grandparents are buried there, as well as a lot of our community leaders.”

Among the community leaders buried there is Dr Hezekiah Hankal, an educator, minister, physician and civic leader whose work helped shape Johnson City. He and his wife are buried at West Lawn. Dr James Johnson, the city’s first African-American doctor, is also buried there.

John Birchette, owner of Birchette Mortuary, said knowledge of the cemetery’s history made it particularly important in his life and among family and friends.

“Everyone I know has a family member buried there,” Birchette said. “I have a grandmother, uncles, aunts, they are all there. It is a place of peace for me. I can go visit graves and see my family, and as I walk around I see the names of other African Americans that I have known growing up over the years.

However, not everyone respects the history of the cemetery or what it means to the community. Over the years, West Lawn has been vandalized on several occasions, most recently in October, when someone dumped what Black described as house building materials on the ground. Perhaps the most egregious incident happened in 2017, when vandals knocked over and smashed gravestones.

And although a police report was filed after the 2017 incident, no one has ever been arrested.

“I don’t think they really understand the importance of West Lawn Cemetery,” Black said of the vandals. “The vandalism was not only hurtful, it seemed to mean that the importance of the cemetery was not sacred.”

Birchette said that seeing the cemetery vandalized “hurts” and that it was “a painful thing to see”.

“During that time, I probably got 40 or 50 phone calls from outside people (asking if) ‘my loved ones’ grave has been hit?’ and I made several trips, took pictures of the names and confirmed, “yes it was damaged” or “no, yours is OK. “

“It shows you how deep the feelings towards this graveyard are.”


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Residents shocked by damage to Forest Lawn Cemetery | New

Over the weekend, many Lewis County residents expressed frustration with the condition and the damage at a local cemetery

Following a post and dozens of photos posted on Facebook, hundreds of residents began to voice their complaints and call Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

The photos showed the cemetery with damaged ground, vases; scattered flowers; and mud covering landmarks and gravestones.

The Facebook post received more than 400 comments and almost 600 shares and repostes.

“As I walked by today, I noticed all these ruts in the ground made by tractor tires,” said Michelle Taylor, a resident. “Several tombstones are covered in mud, multiple broken vases and tire tracks above the tombstones. A grave was dug and only three quarters of the way was backfilled with earth.

“I have loved ones in this cemetery, as I know many others. Something has to be done about it. Absolutely no one, dead or alive, deserves this level of disrespect and neglect. It is simply not acceptable.

Local resident Linda Arbogast agreed with Taylor and said she thought the situation was disrespectful.

“I understand the ground is wet, but there was no reason to crush people’s markers, knock over vases, or crush flowers,” Arbogast said. “For me, it’s a total disrespect. I am from the old school and have learned to respect your loved ones who have passed away. I have a lot of family members in this cemetery, and it upsets me a lot. Clean up the cemetery, repair the roads and don’t drive over people’s graves and markers. If the ground is wet and damaged, repair it or use a shovel to dig graves.

On Sunday evening, Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens posted a public message on its social media account, apologizing for the incident and stating that the issue would be resolved.

“We have been made aware of the problem with the Gardens of the Good Shepherd,” the cemetery said. “This is dealt with immediately. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call the office at 304-269-4231.

Forest Lawn Memorial Garden also responded to comments on the post, saying employees would deal with the issue the best they could without bringing equipment to the field.

Many locals said they were unhappy with the way the graves were handled and added that they hoped something like this would not happen again.

Weston Democrat has contacted the owners of Forest Lawn by phone, but has so far received no comment.


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Grove Cemetery… a “rural cemetery?” | Cover article links

Editor’s Note: The following article reflects the author’s position on the subject from a historical perspective. Wertis also served as the cemetery superintendent for seven years and is currently a director of the Grove Cemetery Association.

Grove Cemetery came into being because the old one-acre cemetery belonging to the Presbyterian Church on Main Street in the village of Trumansburg was running out of space during the first half of the 1800s. Prominent local citizens applied to New York State for a charter to establish a new cemetery in 1846, but made its submission too late for action this legislative season. The following year, the state legislature passed the “Rural Cemeteries Act”. This allowed for the formation in 1847 of a local cemetery association… a non-profit society… which has persisted to the present day.

Almost immediately after the establishment of a constitution and by-laws and the election of directors, land was purchased in the summer of 1847 … eight acres of Smith Durling’s rail-fenced cornfield just north of Halsey’s Woods and on the north side of Falls Road. Durling retained the right to “take out the corn before October 1” and he also “reserved the middle and eastern fence rails”.

It is recorded in the minutes book of the cemetery associations that “after the purchase of the lot last fall, the stumps were all pulled up, the ground plowed and beautifully leveled”. Then, “at the opening of the spring, the roads were leveled and rolled up and between three and four hundred trees were planted on the main avenues.”

The term “rural cemetery” is applied in another sense to the history of cemeteries in America. Many early cemeteries were established on family estates or in church yards… and those small areas were filling up… similar to the situation in the village of Trumansburg but on an even larger scale. Thus, large areas were bought outside the big cities to be converted into cemeteries.

These cemeteries were designed to have the look and use of a park … think Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery … Rochester’s Mount Hope Cemetery … Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn … and Albany rural cemetery … all established between 1831 and 1841. They were built with winding roads through hilly topography, with ponds, streams … were well landscaped with trees and shrubs … and of course with monuments and tombstones. They were designed to be beautiful permanent resting places, but also as “cultivated woodlands” to be visited by the living looking for a respite from the not so beautiful urban built environment. They were the perfect place for a family outing, the place to cross in a buggy or sled for those who ran, or a place to stroll in quiet contemplation of the beauty of nature.

The founders of Grove may have been familiar with the “rural cemeteries” of large cities, or perhaps just wanted their cemetery to be a place of beauty by landscaping standards of the day. The Cemetery Association has preserved landscape plans that define and name avenues, walks, and views – think “Sunset Drive”, “Evergreen Avenue” and “Vista Bluff”. The current board of directors, under the leadership of board chairman David Allen, follows an annual tree replacement plan and is in the process of reinstalling the stone road signs that have disappeared over time. Their return will be a step in the continuation of the welcoming spirit with which the cemetery was created so many years ago.


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Torrington Cemetery Association repairs ancient crypt and preserves history

TORRINGTON – Guardians of the Center Cemetery, which was established in 1851, continued their efforts to preserve some of its history this week with work on a granite crypt.

The crypt, located in the northern part of the cemetery near the property of the Torrington Historical Society, was built in the late 1800s. It was used to store the dead in their coffins during the winter months, when the ground was frozen and the funeral was delayed. When spring came, the occupants of the crypt were taken out and each buried in their own tomb.

Mason Mike Angelicola spent Tuesday working on the crypt and should continue work next week.


“The purpose of masonry work is to preserve this historic structure, joining it to keep rainwater from entering,” said Mark McEachern, board member of the Center Cemetery Association of Torrington, who is also executive director of the historical society. “The mortar between the stones must be replaced to prevent rainwater from freezing in the winter and separating the stones.”

Angelicola has moved some of the larger stones in the crypt from its retaining wall to begin replacing the mortar, which is crumbling with age.

This particular crypt has a beautiful hewn granite front section that is built into the north side of the hill, McEachern said. “It has a beautiful marble door and an iron gate,” he said. “The cemetery dates from the 1850s, and it was probably built around 1890. Over time, the mortar joints deteriorate and water seeps in and loosens the stones. Repointing means you remove the old masonry (stones), scrape away the deteriorated mortar and replace it to get a tight seal. This is to keep water and moisture out of the masonry, which freezes and expands in the winter.

McEachern said crypts like this are a common feature in cemeteries, but he hasn’t seen another like the one in the central cemetery. “It is very unique and is part of the history of the cemetery,” he said. “There’s room for about 12 bodies in there.”

The association uses the money collected during its annual appeal to pay for the masonry work. The total cost of the project is estimated at $ 15,000 and members are doing it in several phases.

Association president Harriet Ellis, a Morris resident, joined the association with her late husband, Robert Ellis Sr.

“I grew up in Goshen and Bob was a resident of Torrington. He worked in the cemetery when he was a teenager, and his family is buried there, ”said Harriet Ellis. “A few years ago, he saw that the cemetery was not in very good condition. (Resident and Association member) Fletcher Waldron was trying to deal with it on his own, so we asked him for help. Fletcher has been invaluable in the preservation of this cemetery.

After the death of her husband 10 years ago, Harriet Ellis remained a member. Although the members could take care of the graveyard maintenance, such as mowing and weeding, they had to hire a mason to do repairs such as the crypt, she said.

“For a job like this, we needed a professional mason,” McEachern said.

The seven-member board of directors equals the total membership of the association, and other interested residents provide assistance to members during the year.

“We now have a volunteer who worked at the cemetery with his father in the 1950s and 1960s, and he was great,” Ellis said. “He picks up fallen graves and fixes them. … He mows and weeds.

The Center Cemetery was created by the Wolcottville School Society. At this time, the village center of Torrington was known as Wolcottville, and the school society, established in 1839, had the authority to levy taxes for the support of the district school and the district cemetery.

In 2010, ownership and management of the cemetery was transferred from the Wolcottville School Society to the newly established Center Cemetery Association of Torrington Inc., a not-for-profit corporation.

According to the association website, Center Cemetery is very different from colonial cemeteries, both in the style of the headstones and in the layout of the cemetery. “The oldest stones in the cemetery are brown sandstone and marble and display a refined style of professional stone carving,” the website explains. “Unfortunately, these stones are also soft and in many cases have been damaged by the weather. Examples of brownstone include many large obelisks that mark the family plots in the old section directly behind Town Hall. Most of the people buried here were English immigrants, but graves of other nationalities can be found. These include Irish, German and Italian.

“There are also stones in this area that are older than 1851, which mark the resting place of the displaced here from Eno Cemetery, an older cemetery on South Main Street that was abandoned in 1894. The first improvements to the cemetery in the center were held in In 1887, a special committee raised funds and contracted for the reclassification of the area behind the town hall to create a “smooth shaved grass” to replace “unsightly mounds , hideous with tangles of heather and weeds. “That job was assigned to Patrick Gleeson, who did the job with six men and two oxcarts. Gleeson also made a new north-south route. The curved paths. throughout the newer northern part of the cemetery reflect turn-of-the-century landscaping and the view of cemeteries as open public spaces.

“Torrington’s population grew dramatically around the turn of the century, as the promise of factory jobs drew many immigrants to Torrington. New graves and monuments practically filled the cemetery in 1905. This lack of space led to the opening of Hillside Cemetery in 1909. Some graves were moved from the central cemetery to the new and fashionable Hillside Cemetery, designed by Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Mass. “

Occupants of the central cemetery include Charlotte Hungerford, the namesake of the town hospital, other prominent members of Torrington society, and Civil War and World War I veterans.

With only seven members, the association still welcomes volunteers and donations. “Cemeteries can get out of hand and go from grass to brush within a year,” McEachern said.

Ellis said the cemetery was also vandalized. “The doors are locked because we had problems with vandals,” she said. “But people are welcome on the weekends. “

To donate, send a check payable to Center Cemetery Association of Torrington and mail it to PO Box 621, Torrington, CT 06790.

To learn more about the cemetery and to become a volunteer or member, visit www.centercemetery.com.


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