Weedsport NY Rural Cemetery

Containing A
Brief History of the Association;
Suggestions As To Improvements

Published by the Association
W. E. Churchill,
Book and Job Printer
Weedsport, N. Y.

Board of Trustees.
Organization for 1895

W. J. Donovan,  President
M. C. Remington,  Vice President
C. C. Adams,  Secretary
O. W. Burritt,  Treasurer

C. C. Caywood

S. W. Treat

At the annual meeting of the Weedsport Rural Cemetery Association held June 10, 1895, the following ordinances and suggestions were reported from a committee, consisting of C. C. Caywood and M. C. Remington, who were appointed at the annual meeting of 1894 to revise and formulate more complete rules and regulations for the government of the Association. At the same time a brief history of the Association from its organization to the present time, by M. C. Remington, was submitted by the committee, which was ordered published with the ordinances. After the adoption of the complete report of the committee, the following resolutions were passed:--

Resolved That the Committee on Ordinances, above named, have merited the thanks of this Association for the able manner in which they have discharged the laborious duty imposed upon them.

Resolved, That said Committee are hereby authorized to procure the publication, in book form, of their entire report.

Resolved, That the minutes of the preceding action and resolutions be included in and become a part of the publication above authorized.

W. J. Donovan, Pres.
C. C. Adams, Sec'y.

In the early history of Weedsport a burial ground was located on the east side of south Seneca street, which, until 1860, was in common use for the village and vicinity. It was small, and, as its present appearance indicates, was arranged in conformity with the usual custom of an earlier day to accommodate the greatest number in the least possible space.

At the time above named it became apparent, from its crowded condition, that more room would soon become necessary, and a goodly number of the most public spirited citizens, inspired by the example set by other villages and cities, resolved it possible to provide more spacious and beautiful grounds for laying away the dead. In obedience to this resolution on June 2nd, 1860, a public meeting was called for the purpose of organizing a cemetery association. There were present at that meeting Caleb Whiting, James M. Bryant, Ebenezer W. Turner, Myron B. Rude, George Coon, William Watson, E. Byron Lattimer, Solomon Giles, William B. Mills, Edward Dixon, John T. M. Davie, Samuel G. Wise, James Henderson, Geo. Cramer, William Faatz and Edward Flynn.

Dr. George Coon was made chairman and William B. Mills secretary. Articles of incorporation were adopted pursuant to chapter 133, laws of 1847, and the several acts supplementary and amendatory thereto, under the name of "The Weedsport Rural Cemetery Association." The number of trustees fixed upon was six, and those chosen were Caleb Whiting, William Watson, Solomon Giles, E. W. Turner, James Henderson and James M. Bryant, duly classified as to term of service, from one to three years, in the order above named. The time named for holding future annual meetings for election of officers was the first Monday in June, of each year, at 2 o'clock P.M. Articles of incorporation of The Weedsport Rural Cemetery Association, duly certified to by the chairman and secretary, were recorded in the Cayuga county clerk's office, on page 415, in book A of miscellaneous records, on June 5th, 1860.

At a subsequent meeting held July 2d, 1860, it was resolved to purchase 8 3/4 acres of land, being that portion originally mapped out and used for this purpose. In accordance with this resolution the land above referred to was bought of Gillead S. Brisbin, and a deed executed by him and his wife, Sarah A. Brisbin, conveying said land to the trustees of The Weedsport Rural Cemetery Association, dated August 1st, 1860, which deed was recorded July 22, 1880, in book 155 of deeds, page 65; consideration $787.50.

A subsequent purchase was made and a deed executed by the same parties, viz: Gillead S. Brisbin and wife, for one acre, being an addition of a narrow strip of land adjoining the eastern bounds of the first purchase. This deed is dated Sept. 1, 1860, and was recorded July 22, 1880, in book 155 of deeds, page 66.

It appears that at a meeting held August 16, 1860, Solomon Giles was authorized to employ, and subsequently did employ, a landscape surveyor, Mr. Burton A. Thomas, of West Sand Lake, Rensselaer county, N.Y., to plat and map the grounds, which was done in September, 1860.

The original price of lots was made low, and during the two decades following, residents of surrounding towns, as well as those of Weedsport, eagerly sought this opportunity to secure for themselves and their posterity permanent and attractive burial places. A large part of the space fronting on the main avenues, as well as much in the rear, was taken and rapidly occupied by death's silent tenants.

Weedsport NY Rural Cemetery

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In the year 1880 adjoining land was offered for sale, and in view of the future need of the Association, the board of trustees, vis:--William Watson, Orrin W. Burritt, E. W. Turner, O. C. Clark, Leonard F. Hardy and William Henderson bought of Mrs. Betsy Crampton, widow of Levi Crampton, 8 1/2 acres of land adjoining the previous purchase on the east. The deed for this addition is dated July 6, 1880; consideration $1,200; recorded July 22, 1880, in book of deeds No. 155, page 67.

The purchase of land, fencing, grading and other improvements have called for nearly all of the money realized from sale of lots, and to replenish the treasury it was resolved, at the annual meeting held June 6, 1892, to fix the present price of all lots, fronting on driveways to the depth of 16 feet, at 25 cents per square foot, and all rear lots at 20 cents per square foot.

In the year 1892 a receiving vault was erected at a cost of $1,025, which has been found a great convenience, if not indeed an indispensible necessity.

In the year 1893 under the direction of the board of trustees, viz:--William J. Donovan, M. C. Remington, O. W. Burritt, C. C. Caywood, C. C. Adams and D. C. Knapp, there was constructed upon the grounds a system of water works by means of a well, wind mill, reservoir and necessary piping, by which abundant and wholesome water has been conveyed to all parts of the ground. This is found a great convenience in the care of lawns, lots, shrubbery and flowers.

In the summer of 1894, under the same official management and direction, a more correct measurement of lots was taken, a revised list of lot owners made and nearly all the remaining vacant space in the original grounds laid out and a new and greatly enlarged map was executed which supplies a long felt necessity.

The cemetery grounds as now constituted contain 18 1/4 acres of beautifully diversified land which for the purpose used is unsurpassed by any; and many of the monumental designs, as well as some of the vaults recently erected, are imposing structures, and will compare favorably with those to be found in any of the most noted cemeteries in central or western New York.

Under the present law of the state any lot owner may set apart a portion of his or her estate, to be left in trust with this Association, to be invested as best it may be and the annual interest therefrom to be applied to the care and improvement of his or her lot; or any person of abundant means may safely provide that a portion of such wealth, left at death, shall be set apart as an endowment, the annual use of which must forever be applied to the improvement of the entire cemetery grounds. To what purpose can wealth be better devoted than this? In what way could the donor more effectually perpetuate the memory of his or her name? In life we may show reverence and love for our friends in a thousand ways; but after they have been taken from us, our love and sympathy can only find expression in our endeavor to make secure and attractive their narrow resting place and its surroundings. It is a solemn obligation resting upon us--a debt which we owe to the dead! We take a just pride in making attractive and beautiful homes to be occupied only during our brief stay in life; how much more should we care to provide and beautify a last resting place in "The Home of the Dead," where we shall lie for all time?

Our possessions in life, however extensive, will soon be in other hands and known under other names, and nothing will remain to remind the passer by that we ever existed, except our silent home and its surroundings in the cemetery!

As the passing stranger estimates the intelligence and moral worth of a community by its school houses and Churches, so must he judge of our humanity, our sympathy and our love by the provision which we make for the final resting places of our families and friends in "The City of the Dead." M.C.R., Weedsport, N.Y. June 10, 1895.

The Board of Trustees of The Weedsport Rural Cemetery Association do, by virtue of authority in them vested, hereby ordain and establish the following Rules and Regulations for the government of said Association, viz:--

I. Organization. All the business of this Association shall be managed by a board of six trustees, two of whom shall be elected annually, by ballot, by the proprietors of cemetery lots, at the annual meeting hereinafter provided for; to hold office for a term of three years, as specified in the original articles of the Association.

II. Annual meeting Notice to be given. An annual meeting of proprietors of cemetery lots, for the election of trustees and the transaction of such other business as may properly and lawfully come before them, shall be held on the first Monday in June; of which meeting the secretary shall give six days notice of the time and place by advertising in some newspaper published in the village of Weedsport, or by posting a written notice in a conspicuous place in the post office.

III. Organization of the trustees; appointment of committee, superintendent &-.
From the trustees of the Association there shall be chosen, immediately after each annual election, a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer who shall hold their offices respectively for one year, or until their successors shall assume the duties of said offices.

After the organization, as above specified, there shall be appointed, as the board may direct, two trustees to act with the President as an improvement committee; whose duty it shall be to supervise and direct all ordinary work and improvements on the grounds, also to recommend for the consideration of the board of trustees such extraordinary improvements as may in their judgment become necessary or advisable.

The President and Secretary shall constitute a finance committee, whose duty it shall be to examine and report upon the accounts of the Treasurer at the annual meetings.

The board of trustees may, at their option, appoint a superintendent of grounds, who shall hold his office during their pleasure, and shall receive such compensation as they may determine.

IV. Duties of the President. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at the annual and special meetings of the Association and at all meetings of the trustees; to call special meetings of either at his option, or when requested by three trustees to make such call, to appoint all standing committees, not otherwise provided for or appointed, to sign deeds of burial lots and all contracts made by the board, and to recommend by annual communication, or otherwise, such measures for improving, protecting or beautifying the grounds as he may deem proper, and to have general supervision of the affairs of the Association in connection with the superintendent, if one is appointed. He shall also, by virtue of his office, be a member of all standing committees.

Weedsport NY Rural Cemetery

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V. Duties of the Vice President. The Vice-President shall have all of the power and shall perform all of the duties of the President in case of his absence or disability.

VI. Duties of the Secretary. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a record of the proceedings of all board or proprietors' meetings; to keep a registry of the sale of lots in the cemetery and of all interments, giving, when possible, the name, place and date of birth, residence and occupation of every person whose remains shall be interred or entombed in the cemetery, together with the date of death and burial and the plat, lot, tomb or vault, in which such remains shall be deposited. Also to sign licenses for interment whenever required to do so by any person who shall have acquired the right to inter in the cemetery.

VII. Duties of the Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer, before entering upon the duties of his office, to execute a bond to the Association for the faithful discharge of his duties, with such sureties and in such amounts and penalties as may be approved by the board of trustees, or by a committee designated for this purpose by said board. It shall be his duty to receive and safely keep all funds of the Association, or funds entrusted to its keeping, which may come into his hands, and to disburse the same only upon the order of the President, countersigned by the Secretary; to report to the board the financial condition of the Association at any time when required to do so, and to present at each annual meeting a complete and detailed statement, showing all monies received and paid out during the previous year.

VIII. Duties of the Superintendent, or Officer in charge of the Cemetery. It shall be the duty of the Superintendent, or whatever officer or employee may be put in charge of the grounds, to give such attention to the cemetery as the board of trustees may direct, and especially during funeral ceremonies and interments, to report to the secretary the name, place of nativity, late residence, date of birth, date of death, date of interment and occupation of every person who shall be entombed in the cemetery, together with the plat, lot or tomb in which such remains shall be deposited; to exercise general care and supervision over the cemetery grounds, including all fences, railings, monuments, avenues, trees and shrubbery therein; to enforce upon visitors due observance of all ordinances concerning the cemetery and to expel therefrom any person or persons whom he may detect in the act of violating these ordinances; to see that no stock is driven through or allowed to stray upon said grounds and to promptly report to the president or board of trustees any such violations with the names of the offending parties.

IX. Moneys derived from the sale of lots, bequests or otherwise to be used only for legitimate purposes. All Moneys derived from the sale of lots, from bequests for general use, and from any and all other sources for general purposes, shall be faithfully and economically expended as may be required upon the cemetery grounds for their enlargement and improvement, or otherwise devoted to uses consistent with the design and intent of the Association, and shall in no event be paid to, or be permitted to inure to the benefit of any member or members thereof, but shall be held or invested for the benefit of the Association as the trustees may direct.

The Association may take bequests and gifts of real or personal property upon trust to apply the income thereof as best they can, according to the terms of such bequests or grants, if such terms are not inconsistent with the original design and purpose of the organization.

X. Rules for interments. Only lot owners, their families and relatives permitted. The charge for opening and closing a grave becomes immediately due.

All interments shall be made according to the direction of the President, Secretary, or the Superintendent, according to the rules of the Association, and shall be restricted to the members of the families and relatives of those who hold a deed for the lot where interment is made, except special permission, for the interment of remains of other persons, be obtained from the board of trustees. Whenever application is made to the Superintendent, or any employee in charge of the grounds, to open a grave for burial, by any person whom he does not know to be the owner of the lot where burial is proposed, he shall, before complying with the request, require the applicant to produce and show to him a permit for such burial, signed either by the President, Secretary or Treasurer.

In all cases of interment there shall be immediately due and payable to the Treasurer of this Association for opening and closing a grave such sum, or charges, as may be the rule determined upon by the board of trustees, not exceeding four dollar for each full sized grave.

XI. No disinterment allowed without a permit.

The Superintendent or officer in charge shall, before he allows any disinterment to take place, require a written permit to that effect, signed by the President or Secretary of the Association.

XII. A Lot must be paid for before used.

No burial permit shall be given by the Treasurer, or any other officer of this Association, to the purchaser of a lot until the price of such lot shall have been paid or an approved negotiable note given; and any officer in charge who violates this ordinance, by granting such permit before satisfactory settlement is made, shall become personally liable for the price of such lot, subject in all cases to the determination of the board of trustees.

XIII. The purchaser of a lot must include as a part of the purchase price, corner posts.

The purchaser of a lot will be required to include, as a part of such purchase, suitable permanent corner posts, designating the boundaries of his lot, which will be furnished and set by the Association for the usual price charged to others; unless the purchaser of said lot prefers, and agrees, to provide such posts of his own selection, as may be approved by the board of trustees, within one year from the date of purchase. In default of such performance, on his part, within the year as above specified the Association shall have the right, as a condition of the sale, to provide and set said posts or markers and collect the usual price thereof of the owner of the lot.

XIV. Inclosure of lots.

The proprietor of each lot may enclose the same with a fence or railing, not exceeding three feet in height, which shall be of iron or stone, and shall be light, neat and symetrical, and the gate thereof, if any, shall swing into the lot.

Weedsport NY Rural Cemetery

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XV. Expense of mowing and clearing lots may be charged to the owners.

All lots not properly cared for will be mowed and cleared off by the Association and the expense thereof collected of the owners, as the law allows.

XVI. Construction of vaults, tombs, etc.

All vaults or tombs shall be constructed of stone, iron or cement and fitted up with catacombs, and with the exception of the receiving vault of the Association, shall be sealed up with hard bricks, stone or cement immediately after the deposit of bodies therein, and the entrance protected with stone or metal doors.

XVII. Objectionable and offensive structures may be removed.

If any monument, vault, tomb, effigy, railing or structure whatever, or any inscription be placed in, or upon any lot, which shall be determined by four the trustees for the time being to be offensive or improper, the trustees shall have the right, and it shall be their duty to enter upon such lot and remove the said offensive or improper object, provided, however, that if said structure or presumed improvement shall have been made with the consent of the board for the time being, the same shall not thereafter be removed except with the consent of the owner thereof.

XVIII. All refuse matter from cleaning lots, or building or putting up monuments or other structures must be removed.

In the erection of monuments, vaults, tombs, railings or any other structures, or in mowing and clearing lots, no dirt, stones, grass or other refuse matter or surplus material of any kind shall be left in the alleys, avenues or lots any longer than is absolutely necessary for the competition of the work; but the same shall be removed from the ground, or to some point on the ground, which may be designated by the President, Superintendent or other officer in charge.

XIX. All objectionable trees, roots, or running vines may be removed by the trustees.

If any tree or shrub, situated in any lot, shall by means of its roots, branches or otherwise become detrimental or inconvenient to the adjacent lots, walks or avenues; or if any plants, flowers or running vines shall be set out which are liable to spread by roots or branches, it shall be the duty of the President, Superintendent or Trustees to enter upon said lot and remove such objectionable tree, shrub, flower or vine and charge the expense thereof to the proprietor.

XX. The proprietors of lots and their families shall be allowed access to the grounds at all times, subject to and observing the rules which are or may be adopted for the regulation of visitors.

XXI. Rules to be observed by visitors on the grounds.

Visitors on foot may have access to the cemetery at all hours of the day; but visitors on horseback or in carriages (except lot owners) may, in the discretion of the Board, be required to present a special permit signed either by the President or Secretary. All visitors properly admitted to the grounds may have access to every part of the cemetery provided that they ride or drive only in the carriage ways and walk only in the avenues and paths laid out for such purposes; that they abstain from all disturbing and unnecessary noises, that they ride or drive no faster than a walk; that they leave no horse or horses on the grounds unattended without fastening; that they bring upon the grounds no fire arms, fire crackers, or other explosive substances and no refreshments other than water; that they abstain from smoking during ceremonies or interment; that they refrain from entering any occupied lot without special leave of the proprietor; that they abstain from plucking any flowers, either wild or cultivated, or breaking or injuring any monument, railing, shade tree, shrub or plant whatever; that they refrain from writing upon, marking on it in any respect marring or defacing any tablet, monument, tree, headstone or structure in or belonging to the cemetery.

That if they are under twelve years of age they are attended by some person who will be responsible for their conduct, and that they observe in all respects such rules of decorum and propriety as shall be harmless to the cemetery, inoffensive to others and befitting well bred visitors to the resting places of the dead.

XXII. Penalty for violation of rules.

Any person who shall violate any of the foregoing rules, in regard to visitors, shall be expelled from the grounds, and become subject to the severe penalties of fine and imprisonment which the laws in such cases impose.

XXIII. Disorderly persons to be expelled.

Any officer of this Association is authorized and empowered to expell, or cause to be expelled, all disorderly persons from the cemetery grounds.

XXIV. Association not to be held liable for bodies deposited in receiving vault.

Any member of this Association will be allowed, when necessary, to deposit bodies in the public receiving vault on the grounds subject to such rules and regulations as to time and otherwise as the trustees may prescribe; but this Association will not become responsible for the safe keeping and care of any remains so deposited in said vault, any further than to see that the said vault is properly locked after such deposit is made.

Durability of Monuments, & C.
Special attention is called to the necessity of permanence in sepulchral architecture. Dilapidation, displacement and disfigurement are very common and painful sights. A leaning monument by reason of insecure foundation, dilapidation caused by the action of the elements upon cheap and worthless material or improper construction may be avoided. While it is impossible to wholly prevent the ravages of atmospheric influences, a proper care in selection and erection of the structures will greatly counteract and long retard these influences and insure durability and beauty for ages to come.

Respect for those whom we have loved in life, and whose memory we would perpetuate, and a proper regard for the taste and feelings of others should at least demand from every member of The Weedsport Rural Cemetery Association, not only this attention in first preparation, selection and construction, but equal attention in the after care of his lot; for whatever the labor and effort of some to adorn and beautify, if others suffer their monuments to become dilapidated and their grounds overgrown and unsightly the contrast becomes painful and the beauty of the entire cemetery is marred.

With the view to promote the best and most pleasing results the following suggestions are offered:--

Inclosure of Lots.
The principal mode of inclosure are by posts and chains, posts and bars, iron railing and coping.

Posts and Chains.
There are serious objections to all inclosures of iron, especially so, as to posts and chains. The chains are quite liable to rust, and the posts, from the weight of the chains and their liability to be used for seats, are very soon out of place and unsightly.

Posts and Bars.
Inclosures of this kind are more substantial, and if granite posts are used, set three feet in the ground, and the bars kept well painted it makes a very durable and beautiful inclosure.

Iron Railings.
There is great objection to this on account of rust, and if used at all those patterns which expose the fewest joints and crevices, to the action of the weather, should be preferred. Careful attention should be given that the foundation on which such railings are erected is securely set in the best cement below the depth of frost, and that this, as well as all other inclosures of iron, be kept well painted.

This mode of inclosure is usually quite unsatisfactory; and unless the foundation is very carefully prepared it soon becomes displaced and unsightly. If used at all it should be placed on a wall laid in cement, three feet deep so as to be secure from the action of the frost; or if posts are used (which are preferable), they should be of granite and bedded in cement three feet deep. It is worthy of note that very few of the best structures of coping have, for over one decade, withstood the action of front in this climate.

Corner Posts.
A simple granite post, firmly set at each corner of a lot, is the cheepest, is not liable to displacement, requires no after care, and on the whole, in view of durability and beauty, is believed to be preferable to any of the inclosures above considered.

The form and style of monuments is of course entirely a question of choice with the proprietors. In that matter we have no advice to offer or suggestions to make, except that it is always in bad taste to copy after others on adjoining or near by lots. Such monotonous imitation does not convey agreeable sentiments to the mind of the beholder. Continuous uniformity in the same immediate locality should always be avoided. Variety produces a much more pleasant effect. To insure permanency great care must be bestowed upon the foundation. This should be laid strongly in cement six feet deep--the usual depth of graves. Lime stone will soon disintegrate in this climate and should in no event be used as a base or otherwise in the construction of monuments.

Tombs and Vaults.
The preceding remarks will apply with equal force in the construction of tombs and vaults in part, or wholly above the ground. There are certain general rules and forms for construction which experience has demonstrated necessary, but which we will not here take the space to enumerate. There are mechanics who are skilled in this line in various parts of the country who may be consulted, and those who contemplate the erection of such structures are advised to seek the best available talent.

Shrubbery and Flowers.
"Discrimination should be exercised in selecting small shrubbery and flowers that may be suitable to the purpose for which the grounds are set apart. A burial plat arranged as one would a variety flower garden would be in very questionable taste. Care should be taken that too many flowers are not set, and that the kinds and colors selected are appropriate. No running or creeping vines, which are liable to spread, will be permitted, and nothing coarse or incongruous with the object and place should be chosen. Such as are simple, unobtrusive and delicate in size, form and color should be preferred. Those which are symbolical of friendship, affection and remembrance seem most fitting to beautify the 'place of graves'."

Weedsport NY Rural Cemetery

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The information on this website page was typed and shared by Dorothy Komp Baker

Website containing some early records for Weedsport  NY Rural Cemetery
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