By Capt. Franklin Ellis302
The cemeteries of Chatham have received considerable attention the past twenty years, and the town now boasts several very fine grounds, sacred to loved ones gone before. One the of finest is
THE CHATHAM VILLAGE RURAL CEMETERY
The grounds are located within the corporation limits, on an elevation overlooking the village and surrounding country. They have been tastily improved with drives and graveled walks, and adorned with evergreens and other trees, making the cemetery an attractive spot, and one well fitted to woo the mind to solemn thoughts.
The cemetery is controlled by an association organized on the 21st day of October, 1856. The first trustees were Elijah M. Thomas, Thomas F. Mesick, Ebenezer Backus, Peter Reasoner, Horatio N. Wright, Edward G. Robinson, James F. Shufelt, John D. Shufelt, and Staats D. Tompkins.
The present officers are President, J. Wesley Jones; Secretary, William Ashley, Jr.; and Treasurer, James E. Traver.
THE CHATHAM UNION CEMETERY
embraces about six acres situated nearly midway between Chatham and Malden bridge. Some substantial improvements have been made, and others are contemplated. The controlling body is an association organized Dec. 30, 1858, with the following trustees: P. F. Cady, George Huested, Samuel Wilbor, Waterman Lippitt, Sherman Van Ness and Jonathan B. Rider, Jr.
THE CHATHAM CENTRE CEMETERY
is located on the public highway, half a mile north from that hamlet. The association which formed and now controls this ground was organized Jan. 8, 1859, with fourteen persons, who chose as trustees Jacob Tobias, Daniel Harris, Barton Huested, Jr., Elihu Clark, Jesse Crandell, and William Van Alstyne. Four acres of ground were purchased and improved in a very fine manner. The cemetery contains some handsome monuments. John J. Van Valkenburgh was for many years the president of the association. That position is now filled by Jesse Crandell.
THE NORTH CHATHAM CEMETERY
is the oldest cemetery in town controlled by an association formed under the rural cemetery laws. The organization was effected March 6, 1852, with eighteen incorporators. The first trustees were Henry Wiederwax, Henry Hiel, Cornelius Coon, George L. Rowe, O. J. Peck, Peter Packman, John Wiley, Henry N. Smith, and John Schermerhorn. Bradley Nichols is the present president and Aaron Traer secretary.
The grounds a located east of the village, and contain about two acres. The improvements give the cemetery a neat and attractive appearance.
THE NEW CONCORD CEMETERY
was enlarged from an old burying-ground to its present area,--about two acres. The location is pleasant and favorable, on a high tract of ground, north from the hamlet. The association was formed Oct. 25, 1866, with C. L. Ford, H. H. Lovejoy, Ira Smith, H. S. Pratt, J. D. Clark, and O. B. Allen, as trustees.
The present officers are Henry W. King, president and Daniel S. Doty, Secretary.
At Rayville is a well-kept burying-ground, near the Friend's meeting-house, and at the old Methodist meeting-house, at White Mills, is one of the oldest grave-yards in the town.
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