Clarendon eyes more markers for historical sites

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Clarendon’s first cemetery is located off Route 31A on Hibbard Road and includes the sign, “Christian Graveyard.” The town’s founder, Eldredge Farwell, is buried there.

CLARENDON – The town last month erected a historical marker for Hillside Cemetery, a sign that notes the cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Leaders of the Clarendon Historical Society are working to get more markers up, so the community and visitors can better understand and appreciate some of the town’s notable historic sites.

The markers cost about $1,200 each. The William Pomeroy Foundation paid the cost for the Hillside marker, but only after extensive research for the site.

Some of those details can be difficult to track down and pinpoint from the 1800s, making it a challenge to satisfy the Pomeroy Foundation, said Erin Anheier, a member of the Historical Society. The group may need to consider raising the funds and doing a marker each year.

“The Pomeroy Foundation wants documentation and some of these events are so old it’s hard to get documentation,” she said.

A historical marker could note the Old Stone Store, at the corner of routes 31A and 237, is built in 1836 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Anheier would like to see the community put its next historical marker by the Old Stone Store, a building the Historical Society saved from demolition about three years ago. The Historical Society teamed with the Landmark Society of Western New York and the Town of Clarendon to find a buyer and developer for the building from 1836.

Joe and Sue Fertitta are renovating the site, which was named to the National Register of Historical Places. It’s one of the oldest Medina Sandstone structures in the county.

The building was used as a general store, and also at different points housed the post office and town court functions.

George Copeland was one of the operators of the store. He lived on Church Street near Route 237. The Historical Society would live to see a historical marker by his former home, a white Greek Revival house.

The society also believes two cemeteries are deserving of markers. A cemetery on Hibbard Road, just off Route 31A, was the first in Clarendon. It bears the grave of Eldredge Farwell, the town founder.

Eldredge Farwell is buried in the cemetery on Hibbard Road. He died in 1843. Farwell discovered Clarendon in 1810 while looking for his brother Isaac’s lost horse. He traced Isaac’s footprints along the border of Sandy Creek and was impressed with the town waterfalls.

Farwell saw the waterfalls as a potential source of power for business. He moved his family to Clarendon in 1811 and built saw and grist mills. The town was originally named Farwell’s Mills but was renamed to Clarendon. Farwell was from Clarendon, Vermont.
The cemetery on Hibbard Road has a sign that says, “Christian Graveyard.”

The Historical Society would also like to put a marker by Cook Cemetery on Munger Road. That cemetery is the final resting place for Lemuel Cook.

When he died in 1866, he was 106. He is believed to be the last living Revolutionary War veteran.

Melissa Ierlan, the Clarendon town historian, unveils a historical marker on Sept. 21 for Hillside Cemetery, which last year was named to National Register of Historic Places.