Burial Places


Columbia County,

New York

By Capt. Franklin Ellis278


     The earliest points of burial were in the vicinity of the two ancient churches.  The Reformed church, as already described, stood east of the burial-ground, the latter occupying the slope and a portion of the top of the hill.  This is now a desolate-looking lace.  Perhaps a neglected grave-yard is, of all other places, the one most calculated ot awaken feelings of sadness.  There are a few stones left here, some with inscriptions scarcely readable, but of rare interest to the antiquarian.  The Sharp family are buried here, and many others, even some of quite a modern date.  When will the church honor themselves and honor the memory of the fathers by surrounding this sacred place with a strong fence, and save it for future years?  The consecration of new and beautiful cemeteries with the adornments of modern times is proof of a high and noble feeling in the hearts of the people.  But why neglect the old burial-places of the fathers?

      The following are some of the dates remaining in this old yard:  "Wife of Peter Sharp, died Nov. 30th 1780;" and "Peter sharp, Feb. 17th, 1781;" and "Jacob Moore, July 3d, 1811."  Also the following, which some one may be able to translate:



11 August

W M"


     The old Lutheran church stood just about on the site of the present dwelling-house of J. Fingar.  The burial-place connected with it was on the rounded and now beautiful elevation just south of the house, extending, as the old people state it, up to the corner of the dwelling.  In this ground, as in the others, were many burials.  Little by little the sacred mementoes of the dead have disappeared.  The flowers planted by loving hands, even in that old ruder age, ceased long ago to bloom above the resting-places of the departed.  The very stones that within the memory of the present generation still stood, like lone sentinels watching the dust of the dead, have gone,--few can tell when or how.  There is left at last simply a smooth field, over which the plow and the reaper move with nothing to obstruct or retard their progress.  But the heavenly Father knoweth where his children sleep, and needeth neither marble nor granite to mark their place of burial.

     The later cemetery of the Reformed church, on the beautiful hill east of Germantown village, is finely situated and well cared for.  Here are written upon the long, close rows of marble the old historic names of Germantown, and here is gathered much of public and private history.

     The same is true of the cemetery of the Lutheran church in its later location upon the south line of the town.  Their older ground, near the church, though not laid out with graveled avenues, and adorned with shrubbery and flowers, is nevertheless, a model of neatness and care,--a splendid example, showing with how little expense an old cemetery may be kept neat and beautiful.  It is not costly monuments nor extravagant expenditures that are needed; it is loving care.  Two things will answer every real demand,--a strong fence, well preserved, and a clean-shaven sod.  This society has also laid out a new ground, which is just over the line, in Clermont.

     There are a few places of private burial, which it might be interesting to trace, but as much space has already been given to other matters of great interest to Germantown, our limits will not permit enlarging upon this topic.

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