|1556 Duanesburg-Church Road|
New York USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Farm site of Joseph Curtis at 1556 Duanesburg-Churches Road, Co. Rd. 127, Delanson, NY 12053 passed to MacMillan, then Wilbur. Graves across pasture, down a gully, up through woods to edge of the hillside.
Search for Joseph Bell Curtis, IV Grave
On August 17, 2015 the author, Parks Honeywell, and fellow member of the SAR Saratoga Battle Chapter, Thomas Dunne, visited the gravesite of Joseph and Lydia (Palmer) Curtis. The search for this gravesite was not an easy one. The last time on record the site was visited was in 1932, at which time the headstones of Joseph and Lydia were said to be knocked flat on the ground, and the headstone of Joseph was noted as sliding into a ravine cut by a creek on the property. In 1932, the Curtis farm had passed first to McMillan, and then Wilbur.
A record search found a Wilbur farmstead at 1556 Duanesburg Churches Road in the Town of Duanesburg, Schenectady County, New York. Our attempts to visit the cemetery were not encouraged by the current owner, Mrs. Wilbur. The farm is now named Mule Hill Farm, raising polled hereford cattle. Mrs. Wilbur was understandingly concerned that a visit to the cemetery might require access to the pasture containing the cattle (including a bull) contained within an electric fence. We did obtain her approval to walk the south property line around the pasture following a creek at the south of her property, an arduous hike involving jumping stone to stone in the creek, then along a smaller creek on the Wilbur property filled with thorn bushes. This smaller creek led north until it became a deep ravine, and at the top of the ravine was the cemetery.
Two upright foot stones marked "JC" and "LC" were found along with four other upright stones without visible marking. The large stone inscribed "In memory of, Lydia Curtis, wife of Joseph Curtis" was face up on the ground, plainly in sight and readable after a dusting. Nearby was the broken lower one third of Joseph Curtis' stone. At the bottom of the 20' deep ravine we found the top two thirds of the stone, face up, inscribed "In memory of, Joseph Curtis, died February 4, 1836, aged 91 years, 19 days." A splash of water from the creek made it very easy to read.
A GPS reading was taken as 42 47 50 N, 74 9 25 W. The cemetery and ravine is at the intersection of two pastures divided north-south by an electric fence running back toward the farmhouse. This point is at a bearing equally splitting the right rear corner of the house and an estimated distance of 400-500 yards from the house to the cemetery. The cattle seemed to be contained in the south pasture, possibly allowing better direct access to the site through the unused north pasture.
We returned to speak to Mrs. Wilbur to report our success and to thank her for her help. I left her with a Revolutionary War grave marker and American flag as a gift for her cooperation in locating the cemetery, and in memory of Revolutionary War soldier Joseph Curtis.