7th-graders busy with Civil War project at Mount Albion and beyond
Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – This gravesite marker for a Civil War veteran at Mount Albion recently had the rust scraped off and was given a fresh protective coat of black paint as part of a service-learning project by Albion seventh-graders.
Here is how the same marker looked late last month, before the restoration efforts. Students are also cataloging locations for the markers from the Grand Army of the Republic.
Students have other Civil War initiatives planned for the school year. They are going to research the names of every Orleans County resident who died in the Civil War and compare that with the 463 names carved in marble slabs inside the tower at Mount Albion Cemetery.
Albion Middle School seventh-grade service learning student Bailey Blanchard points to another “Blanchard” inside the tower at Mt. Albion Cemetery. The students are cataloging the names of soldiers who died during the war. To date there is no master list.
The tower includes marble slabs with the names of 463 residents who were killed during the Civil War. However, the memorial may not have included every local resident who perished in the war, said Tim Archer, teacher of the service learning class.
Bryne Dysard, an Albion seventh-grader, kneels next to the Herbert Charles Taylor grave at Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon. Taylor is the only known Orleans County soldier to fight and die at the battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. Dysard and her service learning classmates have been studying Orleans County Civil War soldiers and are trying to secure a historical marker for him.
SUNY Brockport archivist Charles Cowling spent a morning at Drake Library at the college teaching Albion Middle School service-learning students about the importance of primary source documentation.
The students are in the middle of a large project researching Orleans County Civil War veterans. Their research has already uncovered many interesting facts about our local heroes and includes work at several area cemeteries. The documentation is important as the students write applications for a historical marker grant and a headstone for an unmarked grave from the Veterans Administration.