Watervliet Upper Burying Grounds (Defunct)

Location
Watervliet, Albany County, New York, USA
Memorials 6 added

Search Watervliet Upper Burying Grounds (Defunct):

"Persons in search of ancient landmarks are advised to take half a day and force their way through the shrubs, trees, weeds and long grass that overrun the plat known as the old village burial-ground. Many of the cities of the East have their old cemeteries; Watervliet has two, and one, north and west [i.e. northwest] of the city, deserves attention. Twelve acres are the size of the upper burial-ground, where half a century ago residents were laid away in their final resting-place.
"The history of the burial-ground is clothed in uncertainty. A search of the oldest papers on file reveals no record as to who laid out the cemetery. There are legends to account for the cemetery, but few records. Inscriptions on the stones indicate that the cemetery was in the height of its use about 1850. The following stones stand out in the tangle of underbrush: Thomas Bachelor, died 1850. Oliver E., son of J. H. and Sarah A. Stiles. Teresa, wife of Lorenzo Helm, died 1858. Mary Delia, daughter of Francis and Abigail Disabelle, died 1847. There is also a stone to the memory of Henry Shoemaker, Company H, Twenty-ninth New York Infantry, who died December 14, 1879.
"Who owns the cemetery? Has the city of Watervliet title to the property? Is it a fact that these dozen acres are owned by private parties and that the city is only allowed on the property as a matter of courtesy? Interments have been made in the old burial-ground up to within a short period. Of late it has been used entirely for the burial of the unknown dead—a potter's field. Here and there one may see the evidence of newly made graves, where some unknown person has been laid away by the order of the Coroner or other official.
"The cemetery presents a pitiable sight to one who regards such a place as sacred. If there ever was a fence around the property the last evidences of it have passed into decay. In places fences have been erected around family plats, but these fences are down. Gravestones are flat, some are covered with dirt and it is impossible to distinguish the names inscribed. The road to the place is up a steep hill and the paths in the cemetery are impassable for small trees and bushes. Occasionally one finds a beautiful flowering shrub, and wild roses abound, the successors, probably, of stately bushes that were set out many years ago to mark a burial plat. [...]
"The new state road [New York State Route 2] at the head of West Nineteenth Street winds around the cemetery property, but the person riding along the road has no means of knowing that a cemetery is nearby. [...]
"There are hundreds who have lived in the city all their lives who could not find the uptown burial-ground without a guide."
"Watervliet; The Quest of the Landmark—Cemetery in Pitiable Shape." Troy Times. July 24, 1913: 6 cols 1-2.

"Residents and nearby property owners complain because the land once used for the burial of distinguished people is now used as a Potter's Field. At one time the town of Colonie used the old village cemetery as a Potter's Field until the city officials put a stop to this.
"The cemetery is now grown up in weeds and bushes. It was laid out in 1832 during the cholera epidemic that swept this country. The cholera reached New York state from Canada. In the early years of the nineteenth century emigrants from Europe and Great Britain landed in Quebec and made their way to this section. Peter A. Rogers recalled reading in The New York Herald some years ago a review of the cholera epidemic, and the article stated that the first death from the dread disease occurred in the village of West Troy, where a man on his way from Quebec to New York city, was stricken. This man was buried in the old corporation burial-ground. [...]
"Where the village of West Troy acquired the title to the land is shrouded in mystery. Older residents cannot shed any light on the subject of the purchase or gift of the property. James Bortle said that in 1832, when the cemetery was established, land was cheap, and perhaps some one gave the land to the village. The village, of West Troy, however, was not incorporated until four years after the old cemetery was established."
"The Old Cemetery; Its History and Its Future—Must Make Way for the Growth of the Living." Troy Times. September 26, 1913: 9 cols 3-4.

GPS Coordinates: 42.73973, -73.71745

  • Added: 12 Jul 2014
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2546904