Search Results for: hillside cemetery clarendon

Clarendon native who lived to be 107 will be laid to rest on Wednesday at Hillside Cemetery

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan: Clarendon Town Historian Melissa Ierlan is pictured last July with Ida M. Brace Cook.

Posted 29 August 2017 at 3:50 pm

By Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon Town Historian

The Cook family monument is prominent at Hillside Cemetery.

CLARENDON – Ida M. Brace Cook born March 30, 1910. The first time I saw this I was sad to think that a person had passed away and a date of death wasn’t on her headstone.

This was probably 2012 and little did I know that this woman was still alive. I discovered that she was living in New York City somewhere.  Several years went by and I thought of her every time I was in the cemetery. I learned a little more about her and her connection with a well known family from Clarendon.

I discovered that an old family photo album of the Cook family had been donated by her to our county historian who then donated it to the Clarendon Historical Society.

Fast forward to 2016, and I find myself in NYC visiting the Museum of Natural History. By this time I was able to locate and contact Mrs. Cook with the help of Bill Lattin and made arrangements to visit her. Mrs. Cook was 106 years old when I met her and lived in a nursing home in NYC.  She visited with me for an hour or so and told me the story of how she grew up in Albion and how she met Gordon Cook, a descendant of Lemuel Cook, the Revolutionary War soldier who lived in Clarendon.

She spoke of his family, especially his mother who made her way to the USA with an ox cart and her children by herself. Gordon was many years older than Ida when they married but they made a life and did quite well.

Mrs. Cook was very independent up until an accident in 2013 which left her in a wheelchair. She went from assisted living into a nursing home.  She had a very sharp mind and although she was almost deaf, she would respond to written questions and speak about anything you could ask.

Before I left the nursing home, she was giving me suggestions of places in NYC that I might go to eat. She even gave directions on how to get to several places. She was a very remarkable woman and I feel fortunate to have met her even for a short visit.

Mrs. Cook passed away last week on Aug. 22. She will be laid to rest on Wednesday, August 30, at 1 p.m. at Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon. There will be a graveside service.  The public is welcome to attend.

Mrs. Cook will be laid to rest at the family plot that includes her husband Gordon.

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Holley Rotary adds Hillside Cemetery for Wreaths Across America

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2023 at 2:07 pm

Goal in first year is 100 wreaths to be placed on veterans’ graves Dec. 16

File photo by Tom Rivers: People visit the chapel at Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

HOLLEY – The Holley Rotary Club is leading an effort to have wreaths placed on veterans’ graves for the Wreaths Across America celebration and observance on Dec. 16.

Lyndonville and Medina have been a part of Wreaths Across America in recent years. Now Holley is joining the effort that is in nearly 4,000 communities around the country.

Laura Bentley, a member of the Holley Rotary Club, was part of the effort in Medina last year, serving as a volunteer and helping to place wreaths on veterans’ graves. She was impressed and moved to see such a cross section of Medina volunteer to place the wreaths.

“The number that showed up for the community, from Boy Scouts to elderly veterans, it was very diverse group in size,” Bentley said today.

The Holley Rotary Club agreed to lead the effort at Hillside Cemetery where there are about 600 veterans’ graves. Holley Rotary is seeking to raise funds to do 100 wreaths in the first year. The wreaths are $17 each. Holley Rotary will be purchasing some of the wreaths and seek donations as well, Bentley said.

Those interested in volunteering for Wreaths Across America or sponsoring a wreath to support Holley Rotary are invited to visit to learn more.

National Wreaths Across America Day will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16.

73 Holley Interact students clean headstones at Hillside Cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 October 2023 at 9:03 pm

Provided photos

CLARENDON – A group of 73 students in the Holley Rotary Interact Club spent part of today cleaning headstones at Hillside Cemetery.

The cleaning will help keep the headstones clear of dirt and moss or lichens for several years. This is one of the service projects done each year by the Interact members who are led by advisor Samantha Zelent.

The students were up early today and worked in some chilly weather with some guidance from Melissa Ierlan, the Clarendon’s town historian and a former member of the Holley Board of Education.

“This is such a meaningful event not only to teach our younger generations how to give back to the community they live in but to honor the generations of local residents who have been buried in the cemetery since 1866,” Ierlan said.

Donuts from Paula’s have become a tradition were supplied by Alex Lane, a member of the Holley Rotary Club. Dr. Dan Schiavone, a dentist in Holley, was a big giver towards the cleaning supplies, and Zelent was able to round up other donations towards the project.

“It is so amazing to me the attitude the young people of our school district towards doing community service,” Ierlan said. “They do it with ease and are so sincere in their efforts to give back. The staff, parents and local residents who came out today did a lot of work. It is so rewarding to see the before and after results of this event.”

Boxwood tour highlights Medina’s historic cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 August 2023 at 12:01 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A cemetery tour on Sunday evening at Boxwood Cemetery in medina included a stop by the grave of May Howard, a survivor of the Titanic sinking on April 15, 1912.

Howard was 27 when she was on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Howard, a native of England, was headed to visit her brother in Toronto and then her sister in Albion. She traveled as a third-class passenger and secured a spot on a life boat. May lived locally until she died at age 68 in 1958. About 1,500 passengers died after the Titanic hit an ice berg. Howard was one of about 700 survivors.

The tour highlighted many of the architectural features of the cemetery and the symbols on the grave stones. The George A. Beach Mausoleum includes the symbol of an Egyptian winged globe, which retired Orleans County Historian Bill Lattin said signified “divine protection.”

Mr. Beach was a manufacturer of iron goods.

Village of Medina Historian Todd Bensley led the tour of Boxwood. He is shown here at the chapel at Boxwood, which was built with a $22,000 donation from the late Silas Burroughs, who was influential in the pharmaceutical industry. His father also served in Congress.

A stained-glass window is being repaired in the chapel and is expected to be installed soon.

Bensley has written a 314-page book, “Boxwood Cemetery: Where the Past is Present.”

He also helped the cemetery secure a designation on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

The  cemetery opened in 1850. About 5,000 people have been buried at the site north of the village on North Gravel Road (Route 63).

The 20-acre site is a distinctive example of several cemetery movements. It was originally established in the Rural Cemetery manner in 1850. The cemetery initially was focused on a hill. The later sections were added in the Lawn Park and Memorial Park styles.

Todd Bensley, far right, tells a group of about 50 people this spot offers his favorite view of Boxwood Cemetery.

Boxwood reflects the changing and developing tastes in cemetery design from the mid 19th Century to the late 20th Century.

Drawing from contemporary English romantic landscape design ideas, rural cemeteries such as Boxwood utilized varied topography, curving drives for carriages and separate pedestrian pathways.

Bensley said the winding pathways proved a challenge to maintain. Boxwood shifted to a simpler design after about the 1890s to make it easier to mow the grass and take care of the gravesites.

“It all looks very nice, and it is very nice,” Bensley told the group about the cemetery section on the hill. “But it’s a nightmare to maintain.”

The Friends of Boxwood Cemetery will be hosting an evening tour of the cemetery on Sept. 30. Proceeds from last year’s event helped pay for the stained-glass repair.

Bensley said the Friends of Boxwood would like to have a memorial with the names of 107 people buried in a potter’s field. Many do not have gravestones with their names on them. Once the stained-glass window is complete, Bensley said the group expects to work on the memorial for the people in the potter’s field.

Bill Lattin, center, describes some of the symbols for the monument for the L’Hommedieu family.

Lattin gave his first tour of a cemetery in 1994 at Mount Albion. There were about 300 people at the that tour. Lattin said the cemeteries are popular with many local people who walk or jog by the gravesites.

He started giving the tours because he thought it was a way of sharing local history, and helping people to know about the symbols and architecture at the sites.

The Boxwood tour capped the local cemetery tours organized by the Orleans County Historical Association. The group typically has cemetery tours on Sunday evenings in August. Other tours this month included Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon, Mount Albion and the old St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Albion.

George Ambrose Bowen (1867-1945) was featured on the cemetery tour. He was instrumental in development of Medina Memorial Hospital. He was a president of the S.A. Cook & Co. and was chairman of the board of the hospital for nearly 35 years. He was largely responsible for the hospital being built in 1924, Bensley said.

The Swett family monument includes the burial site for Albert Swett. He created Glenwood Lake and Lake Alice to generate power. (He built Glenwood Lake next to Boxwood Cemetery from 1903 to 1905.) He ran Swett Iron Works in Medina. Some sewer grates and manhole covers from a century ago continue to be used. Sweet named Lake Alice in Carlton in honor of his daughter Alice, who died of scarlet fever at age 11.

Mr. Swett lived from 1850 to 1924. His daughter died in 1884.

Swett’s sister, Dr. Emily Sweet, practiced for 30 years and was a member of many medical societies. She returned to Medina in 1918 to help the community during a major flu outbreak.

Mount Albion tour brings out crowd to learn about historic cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2023 at 12:46 pm

This evening’s tour features the old St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Brown Road

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Sue Starkweather Miller, the Village of Albion historian, speaks during last Sunday’s tour of Mount Albion Cemetery.

She is at the grave of Elizabeth Babcock, who made about 100 Santa suits a year as owner of the Santa Claus Suit and Equipment Company. She made the suits for many years with the late Charles Howard, who established a Santa School and later Christmas Park in Albion.

Babcock died in 2006 and is a member of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

She was included in last week’s tour of Mount Albion. The Orleans County Historical Association is planning different cemetery tours each Sunday evening in August, beginning at 6 p.m.

The first tour on Aug. 6 was at Hillside Cemetery and was led by Melissa Ierlan, the Clarendon town historian.

The remaining schedule includes:

  • August 20 (today): Old St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Brown Road, Gaines – Presented by Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian.
  • August 27: Boxwood Cemetery, North Gravel Road, Medina – Presented by Todd Bensley, Village of Medina Historian.

About 60 people attended the tour at Mount Albion, which was led by Starkweather Miller and Bill Lattin, the retired county historian.

Here they are shown at the grave of Lansing Bailey, a pioneer resident of Orleans County. Bailey owned 268 acres and survived malaria and encounters with bears.

Bill Lattin speaks at monument for the Whitmore family. It has oaks and acorns, which are symbols for strength and endurance.

Some of the stops on the tour included:

  • Alice Wilson, who was murdered by her husband, George in 1887. He was the only man executed in Orleans County. He was hanged outside the courthouse in 1888.
  • Jennie King, she wrote for local journalism for 68 years with the Orleans Republican as a printer and editor an then the Albion Advertiser as an editor.
  • Weston Wetherbee, Orleans County sheriff and amateur astronomer.
  • Chester Bartlett – Sheriff during the arrest and trial of Charles Stielow, accused and convicted of a double murder in Shelby. He was found innocent in a landmark case showing ballistic forensics.
  • Skinner/Harding trolley accident – a tragedy for two families when their car is hit by a trolley on March 7, 1915 and four children perish on their way home from Sunday School. Alfred Skinner was driving a Cole automobile when a passenger trolley came around a curve and struck the vehicle, killing Mildred and Helen Skinner, and Marion and Herschel Harding. Mr. Skinner and one of his daughters survived the accident.
  • Emily Pullman, sister of railroad tycoon George Pullman, she married a doctor William Fluhrer, who invented a device to remove bullets from the brain.
  • Stuart John Flintham, whose egg collection is on display at Hoag Library, was a distinguished forester, and was the first head forester, fire warden and fish & game for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He died fighting a fire in 1925.

Historical Association planning 4 cemetery tours on Sundays in August

Posted 5 August 2023 at 7:41 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: This memorial stone in the shape of Africa was dedicated on May 19, 2016 on the 152nd birthday for Carl Akeley, the famed taxidermist from Clarendon who made several expeditions to Africa. Many taxidermists from around the country donated to the memorial for Akeley at Hillside Cemetery in Holley.

Press Release, Orleans County Historical Association

The Orleans County Historical Association has scheduled its annual August series of cemetery tours.

The tours begin at 6 pm. While attendance is free of charge, donations are gratefully accepted.

The schedule includes:

• August 6: Hillside Cemetery and Chapel, Rt. 237, Holley – Presented by Melissa Ierlan, Town of Clarendon Historian.

• August 13: Mount Albion Cemetery, Rt. 31, Albion – Presented by Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County Historian and Sue Starkweather-Miller, Village of Albion Historian.

• August 20: Old St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Brown Road, Gaines – Presented by Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian.

• August 27: Boxwood Cemetery, North Gravel Road, Medina – Presented by Todd Bensley, Village of Medina Historian.

Holley students, Rotary Club clean grave stones at Hillside Cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 October 2021 at 9:46 am

Photos courtesy of Samantha Zelent

HOLLEY – These Holley students joined others from the Holley Interact Club on Sunday morning, cleaning grave stones at Hillside Cemetery. These students include Alexis VanAmeron, Lily Newman and Allison Merle.

A big group of students and Holley Rotary Club members worked on cleaning the grave sites.

Aidan Kelley, Elena Girangayas, Isla Schultz, Madison Lowell and Charli Gearing work on one of the big monuments at the cemetery. Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon historian, helped organize the effort.

Assistant Principal Dan Courtney and his family came to help, including two of his daughters, Bridget and Claire.

Fire Chief Harris Reed of the Murray Joint Fire District brought water to help with the cleaning. He was assisted by Erin Reed, Abby Reed and Brody Fiorito.

Lance Babcock was happy to help with the morning project, even after a busy homecoming week at Holley.

Ellie and Ava Quincey work together on this grave stone.

Thomas Dobri and Board of Education member Anne Smith teamed up.

Former Clarendon historian worked for U.N., served with Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps in WWII

Posted 23 September 2021 at 11:41 am

Irene Gibson also wrote book on early historic sites in Orleans County

“Illuminating Orleans” – Vol. 1, No. 22

Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

CLARENDON – At the recent Orleans County Historical Association Tour of Hillside Cemetery, Melissa Ierlan, Town of Clarendon Historian, referenced a remarkable lady who is buried there.

Irene Gibson

Irene Gibson (1898-1994) graduated from Holley High School in 1914. She received a Regent’s scholarship and a Cornell University competitive scholarship. She majored in foreign languages. She taught French and Spanish at Lynchburg College in Virginia from 1920-23 and then studied for a master’s degree at Denison University, Ohio. She joined the editorial staff of the Silver-Burdett Company, a textbook publisher, where she was modern languages editor and social studies editor from 1925-1941.

She enlisted in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps in 1942. She instructed French cadets in navigation, instructing them in French on how to read flight charts, and draw wind-drift diagrams. She attended Officer Candidate School in 1945 and became a Second Lieutenant in July of that year. After the war, she worked for the United Nations, and by 1956 was head of the U.N. Division of Foreign Affairs which prepared printed documents for the Economic and Social Council.

She returned to Holley in 1958 to care for her mother and sister. She taught French and Spanish at Holley High School from 1960-1965. She was particularly interested in history and soon was involved with the Orleans Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and served as chairman of the Orleans County Historical Association (OCHA).

In 1979, the OCHA and the DAR published her book “Historic Sites in Orleans County, New York”, a listing and description of sites “that have historic connections with the Revolution or with the first twenty-five years of existence of Orleans County, the period before 1850.” Remarkably, there are fifty such sites. Arranged by town, they are as follows:

  • CLARENDON: Farwell’s Mills marker, Universalist Church, Lemuel Cook grave, Robinson Burying Ground, Clarendon stone store, Colonel Shubael Lewis residence
  • MURRAY: Smith-Pierce Cemetery, Murray marker, Baptist Church, Holley, Stone House, Holley, Budd-Phillips House, Hulberton, Balcom’s Mills marker, Transit Line marker
  • KENDALL: Norwegian Sloopers’ marker
  • CARLTON: Kenyonville Methodist Church, Stebbins Homestead
  • GAINES: Gaines Cemetery, First Church building in Orleans County marker, Gaines Academy marker, Cobblestone Church, Childs, School House, Childs, Bullard-Lattin House, Eagle Harbor Methodist Church
  • ALBION: Courthouse Square, Christ Episcopal Church, Swan Library, Presbyterian Chapel, Warner-Phelps House, Blott-House, Tousley-Church Home, Joseph Hart Home, Ebenezer Rogers House
  • BARRE: Barre Center Presbyterian Church, Elisha Wright House, Old Lime Kiln, Cobblestone School House, Pine Hill
  • SHELBY: Millville Academy, Quaker Meeting House, Fort Shelby, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Cone-Dewey Cobblestone House
  • RIDGEWAY: Oldest barn in Orleans County, Servoss House, Culvert Underpass, Masten-Cardone Stone House, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Hunt-Sentiff House
  • YATES: Mudgett-Weld Homestead, Cobblestone House, Main St., Tarbox Six-sided House.

As one would expect, given her military experience and publishing background, the book is thorough and meticulous. The details, connections and stories she includes help bring the early years in Orleans County to life, as she populates it with people rather than just names and dates.

One such example is her account of the Clarendon Stone Store, a familiar but overlooked building at the corner of Routes 237, 31A and the Upper Holley Road in Clarendon. Built in 1836 by David Sturges, “a self-made man, who, had he lived would have been one of the millionaires of the country,” the lower floor housed a dry goods and grocery store and was a place for settlers to warm themselves by the fire and exchange news. An open room on the second floor was used for early church assemblies and lively political meetings. Ownership of the building passed by marriage to the Copeland family. A son, David Sturges Copeland, completed the “History of Clarendon” in 1889, having thoroughly explored its “groves and swamps…. meadows and dales.”

This book would be an ideal guide for a leisurely exploration of these sites, on a fall afternoon drive during Heritage Season perhaps? It is available from the OCHA, or the Historian’s Office for the modest sum of $10.

OC Historical Association brought Sunday tour to Hillside Cemetery

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2021 at 2:44 pm

Provided photos

CLARENDON – Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon town historian, leads a tour of Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon and Holley on Sunday evening.

It was part of a series of Sunday evening tours this month organized by the Orleans County Historical Association.

The Historical Association planned five programs on Sundays in August. They all start at 6 p.m. The series ends this Sunday with a presentation by Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County historian. He will present “Telling Tales Out of School” from his book, “Trivial Tales.” This program will be at the Gaines Basin School, 3286 Gaines Basin Rd. in Albion.

The tour on Sunday in Clarendon included a look inside the chapel at the Hillside Cemetery which has received significant preservation work in recent years with work on the roof, repointing and repairs to the windows.

The time inside the chapel included music played by organist Scott Schmidt, who shared old and familiar tunes.

2 from Clarendon earn Eagle Scout rank

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan: (Left) Eagle Scout Jacob Crandall helps his brother Jeremy Crandall put on his Eagle Scout neckerchief. (Right) Eagle Scout Dalton Thurley helps Cody Tanis put on his Eagle Scout neckerchief.

Posted 21 July 2021 at 9:50 am

Article courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

CLARENDON – Two Boy Scouts from Clarendon were celebrated on Monday during their Eagle Scout ceremony at the Disciples First Methodist Church.

Jeremy Crandall and Cody Tanis were joined by their family and friends as well as other scouts and scout leaders. Crandall for his Eagle Scout project led an effort to build a first responders’ monument in Clarendon’s Hillside Cemetery. Tanis led a project to scrape and paint the one-room schoolhouse at the Clarendon Historical Society.

Scoutmaster Jak Kohmann delivered a speech in which he stated the less than 4 percent of people who enter scouting attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

Scout committee member Ron Boyd read the Eagle Scout Challenge that described the following:

  • The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor
  • The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty
  • The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be courageous
  • The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be cheerful

Another critical responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service

Pictured from left include Jak Kohmann, Ron Boyd, John Crandall and Chris Nothnagle. They were recognized with the Camp Dittmer Heron Award. Paul Niggli, not pictured, also was included in the honor.

Ron Boyd also presented plaques to John Crandall, Chris Nothnagle and Paul Niggli in memory of his son Austin James Boyd who was born October 18, 1990 and died suddenly October 28, 2009 in a car accident. Austin was an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 59 of Clarendon, Lodge Chief of Ashokwahta Lodge #339 BSA, student at Monroe Community College and a 2009 graduate of Holley Central School District.

The Camp Dittmer Heron Award plaque was awarded to these men for grounds clearing and expanding the Brownsea program area 2010-2019, and their dedication and commitment to the Camp Dittmer year-round camping program and the youth of the council.

Pictured from left include Jak Kohmann, Cody Tanis, Jeremy Crandall, Jennifer Lemcke, Lisa Crandall and John Crandall.

Cody Tanis and Jeremy Crandall presented pins to their parents and also pins to people who they consider mentors.  After the ceremony there was pizza and refreshments as well as a cake.

New memorial for first responders in Clarendon hit with graffiti

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan: A memorial for first responders in Clarendon was hit with graffiti on Saturday. The granite plaque hasn’t been placed in the spot where there is graffiti. That plaque states the memorial honors “the men and women who put their lives on the line when the lives of others are in danger.” The sandstone on top was donated by a family from Brockport.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 September 2020 at 9:45 am

CLARENDON – A new memorial for first responders at Hillside Cemetery was hit with graffiti on Saturday.

The memorial isn’t done. A granite plaque will be installed by winter. The memorial is an Eagle Scout service project led by Jeremy Crandall.

The memorial is near the entrance in the cemetery along Holley-Byron Road near the Holley water tank. Many firefighters from Holley and Clarendon are buried in that section of the cemetery, said Melissa Ierlan, the town historian and code enforcement officer.

The granite plaque is 2 feet by 4 feet. It is expected to be installed before winter.

Jeremy’s brother Jacob also did an Eagle Scout project at Hillside. In 2016, he finished a veterans’ memorial with a 30-foot spun aluminum flag pole with a pentagon-shaped concrete base inlayed with five granite stones, bearing the insignia of each branch of the US military.

Ierlan said the graffiti will likely be removed before the plaque is placed on the memorial for first responders. The inlay will cover the paint.

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Photo of Hillside chapel wins county tourism contest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 November 2019 at 6:24 pm

Kristina Martin of Holley won first place in the annual Orleans County Tourism Photo Contest with this photograph of the chapel at Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon.

Martin’s photo received 70 points from 12 judges, the most of the 66 photos entered by 15 photographers, the County Tourism Department announced today.

Peggy Barringer’s “Culvert-cicles” came in 2nd with 62 points. It shows icicles in the Canal Culvert in Ridgeway.

Bobby Boccaccio’s photo of the lighthouse at Point Breeze was 3rd with 47 points

The photos needed to be taken in Orleans County with a “tourism draw.” Twelve judges reviewed the entries and rated their top ten picks from 10 points to 1 point. The points were then tallied and ranked whereby the highest earned points was declared the winner.

Several of the submitted photographs will be featured in the 2020 Orleans County Tourism calendar which is published in late December as well as the Orleans County Travel & Adventure Guide which is anticipated to be published in January and distributed nationwide, the Tourism Department said.

Jules Hoepting of Albion ventured onto the ice on the Erie Canal to get this photo of a canal bridge at sunset. It was among the 66 photos entered in the contest.

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Summer tours planned for Mount Albion, Hillside cemeteries

Posted 28 July 2019 at 5:58 pm

Torch-lit tour of Downtown Albion set for September

Press Release, Orleans County Historian Matthew Ballard

Photo by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard stops at the Pullman family grave at Mount Albion Cemetery during a tour of the cemetery in August 2016. James Lewis Pullman, father of sleeping car magnate George Pullman, is buried at Albion’s historic cemetery.

The Orleans County Department of History in partnership with the Orleans County Historical Association will host a series of cemetery and community tours in August and September.

• August 4th at 6 p.m. – Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion

This “Movers and Shakers” tour will explore the gravesites of notable Orleans County residents including Roswell Burrows, John Proctor, Rufus Bullock, and Elizabeth Denio. Visitors will have the opportunity to stop at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The group will assemble at the cemetery chapel and depart at 6:05 p.m. – this tour includes large hills.

• August 11th at 6 p.m. – Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion

A “Wealthy, Famous, and Eccentric” tour will take visitors on journey through Orleans County’s most interesting residents, including E. K. Hart, Hank Porter, Charlie Howard, and Lewis Sands. The group will assemble at the cemetery chapel and depart at 6:05 p.m. – this tour route is relatively flat.

• August 18th at 6 p.m. – Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion

Through “Courage and Honor,” visitors will tour the gravesites of local veterans including Jesse Brooks, Andrew Hall, Ross Brown, William Collins, Virginia Sheret, and Charles Harris, a local Medal of Honor recipient. The group will assemble at the cemetery chapel and depart at 6:05 p.m. – this tour route is relatively flat.

• August 25th at 6 p.m. – Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion

This concluding tour, “Pioneers and Politicians,” will take visitors to the gravesites of Albion’s most interesting pioneer and political figures; stops will include Ben Field, George Ough, Calvin and Juliette Beach, and a stop at the grave of Joseph Van Camp, whose home was the site of Orleans County’s most gruesome murder. The group will assemble at the cemetery chapel and depart at 6:05 p.m. – this tour route includes some larger hills.

• September 8th at 6 p.m. – Hillside Cemetery, Clarendon

Orleans County Historian Matthew Ballard and Clarendon Town Historian Melissa Ierlan will lead a tour of Hillside Cemetery as part of the Orleans County Heritage Festival. The group will meet at the cemetery chapel and depart at 6:05 p.m.

• September 13th & 14th at 8 p.m. – Murder & Mayhem: Torch-lit Tour of Downtown Albion

Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian, will lead guests on a nighttime tour of downtown Albion. Come hear the stories of the disappearance of William Morgan, Nehemiah Ingersoll’s crafty plan to secure the county seat, the murder of Pierpont Dyer, Albert Warner’s theft of thousands from the First National Bank of Albion, the murder of Alice Wilson, and many more! Guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight, wear comfortable shoes, and pack an umbrella (just in case!).

The tour will meet at 34 E. Park Street in Albion (Central Hall) and will include a stop at the Downtown Browsery for free snacks. Visitors are encouraged to visit restaurants and shops downtown prior to the tour and should bring a flashlight.

All tours are free and open to the public, no advanced registration is required. Tours will take place rain or shine, so bring an umbrella or jacket in case of inclement weather. Additional information about upcoming events and notifications about changes or cancellations can be found on the Department of History’s Facebook page or the Historian’s website,

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6 Scouts from Clarendon earn their Eagle

Photos by Tom Rivers: These six Boy Scouts are pictured with Scoutmaster Jak Kohmann at a Court of Honor celebration on Wednesday evening at the Disciples United Methodist Church in Clarendon. Pictured from left include: Xander Apicella, Matt DeSimone, Dalton Thurley, Jak Kohmann, William Harrington, Jake DeSimone and Ben Downey.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2018 at 8:07 am

32 have now earned Scouting’s top rank from Troop 59 in past 16 years

Ron Boyd, a mentor and volunteer in Troop 59, puts the Eagle kerchief on Xander Apicella. Jake Thurley, not in photo, put the kerchief on his brother Dalton Thurley, right.

CLARENDON – Six Boy Scouts from Troop 59 in Clarendon are the latest to earn their Eagle rank, bringing the number of Eagle Scouts to 32 in the past 16 years from the troop.

Xander Apicella, Matt DeSimone, Dalton Thurley, William Harrington, Jake DeSimone and Ben Downey held their Court of Honor celebration on Wednesday at the Disciples United Methodist Church, where the troop meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Scoutmaster Jak Kohmann praised the scouts for their dedication. They pushed themselves to earn merit badges and complete projects in the community.

“They do the work,” Kohmann told the group gathered at the church for the Court of Honor. “They have a true commitment. Without that dedication these six wouldn’t be up here today.”

Eagle Scouts need to earn at least 21 merit badges, but many of the scouts in Clarendon go well beyond that. They have completed projects at Hillside Cemetery, the Clarendon Historical Society, Clarendon Fire Hall and the town park. The projects need to take at least 100 hours, but Kohmann said the Clarendon Scouts put in at least 150, with some taking 400 hours to complete.

“They turn into young men and they get jobs,” Kohmann said about the Eagle Scouts. “We stay in touch and I see these people out in the community and they are pillars of the community.”

Jak Kohmann speaks during the Court of Honor on Wednesday evening. He said the Eagle Scouts are self motivated. Behind him include Ben Downey, Matt DeSimone and Jake DeSimone.

The six new Eagles all presented Kohmann with a mentor pin during the Court of Honor. They also recognized John Crandall, the assistant scoutmaster, and others who have supported their Scouting journey.

Xander Apicella began as a Webelos in the fifth grade. He created a firemen’s memorial at the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company for his Eagle Scout project. He is entering his junior year at University of California at Santa Barbara, where he is majoring in physics and minoring in writing.

Jake DeSimone started as a Tiger in the first grade. For his Eagle project, he constructed and landscaped a flower bed at the Clarendon Fire Hall. He is pursuing a business degree at Monroe Community College.

Matthew DeSimone, Jake’s younger brother, also started scouts in the first grade as a Tiger. He renovated the park pavilion in Clarendon for his Eagle project. He is pursuing a degree in business/pre-law at Geneseo State College.

Ben Downey started scouts in the second grade as a Wolf. For his Eagle project, he installed a fence at the memorial at Hillside Cemetery. He is currently doing commercial and electrical work for Edwards Electric and Communications in Rochester.

These new Eagle Scouts recite the Scout Oath. They include Will Harrington, Xander Apicella and Dalton Thurley.

William Harrington started as a Tiger Scout in the first grade. He constructed a display wall with lighting in the Clarendon Historical Society for his Eagle project. He is majoring in biology, chemistry and music in a pre-vet program at Elmira College.

Dalton Thurley joined scouts in the first grade as a Tiger. He cleaned and repaired the veterans’ section of Hillside Cemetery for his Eagle project. He will be studying mechanical electrical engineering technology at Alfred State beginning this fall.

Kohmann has served as Scoutmaster for 16 years, including several years after his son aged out of the program. Derek Kohmann, now 27, was the third of the 32 scouts to earn his Eagle under Kohmann.

Kohmann worked 30 years at Kodak and then another eight years at the Holley Pharmacy until he retired in April. He found scouting to be a needed break from the stresses of his job.

“This was a nice release from that,” he said. “I have a good time here.”

The Clarendon troop also has many engaged parents and several active volunteers. Kohmann does the paperwork after the scouts earn their badges and ranks.

He intends to stay active in the troop “as long as the kids keep coming.”

Will Harrington hugs Melissa Ierlan after presenting her with a mentor pin. Irelan helped many of the Eagle Scouts identify their projects in the community.

John Crandall, the assistant Scoutmaster the past nine years, says the many Eagle Scouts in the troop show others that the coveted rank is attainable.

“Once they see their peers get an Eagle, it inspires them,” Crandall said.

His son Jacob, 20, earned his Eagle. Another son, Jeremy, needs three more merit badges and has to complete his project to become an Eagle. Jeremy, 17, expects to become an Eagle next year.

Crandall also praised Melissa Ierlan for connecting many of the Eagle Scouts to their projects. Ierlan is president of the Historical Society and the town’s code enforcement officer.

“She helps with the logistics,” Crandall said. “She has tons of contacts.”

Ultimately, Crandall said Kohmann sets the tone in the troop, and keeps the scouts engaged.

“Jak is very regimented and available for the boys,” Crandall said. “You won’t find someone more dedicated to Boy Scouts. He makes it attainable to the boys.”

Kohmann said the troop welcomes more scouts. They can stop by the Disciples United Methodist Church on a Thursday evening for more information.

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Works continues on restoration of chapel at Hillside Cemetery

Staff Reports Posted 13 June 2018 at 4:40 pm

Photo courtesy of Erin Anheier

CLARENDON – This photo shows Tim Wheeler of TSW Masonry on the lift as Russ Bosch, project engineer, and Steve Swiat of Northwood Historic Restoration discuss the window restoration project for the chapel at Hillside Cemetery.

Wheeler has repointed the interior walls of the basement and the chimney and ventilating tower. That project was completed last week.

Swiat has begun scraping and repairing the decorative wooden frames of the windows. He will remove the sashes when Clarendon has a ship date for the replacement glass and he will restore them and replace broken panes, said Erin Anheier, a member of the Clarendon Historical Society which has helped spearhead the project. Unbroken panes will be reused. The replacement glass is being specially made to match the color and texture of the original glass. The glass has an 18-week lead time.

Soon, Tom DiFante will be repainting the wooden eaves.

The state has approved a $126,210 matching grant for work on the chapel at Hillside Cemetery. Matching funds are a combination of other local grants (Elisabeth Dye Curtiss and Rochester Area Community Fund), cash donations from local residents, some funds that the Town of Clarendon received from the Cemetery Association when the Association disbanded and fundraising events run or coordinated by the Clarendon Historical Society.

The chapel’s roof has already been replaced as part of the efforts to preserve the chapel, which was built in 1894 of locally quarried Medina Sandstone in a Greek Revival style.

Hillside Cemetery was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2013 with the chapel being a major contributing asset. In 2014, the Landmark Society of Western New York named the chapel to its “Five to Revive” list.

The next step is to restore the interior. Clarendon is currently awaiting for the specifications to be approved by the State for that work.

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