WEST LOWVILLE — As with many small cemeteries, the West Lowville Rural Cemetery on Route 12 struggles to cover expenses.
“It is difficult to keep a cemetery of this size mowed and trimmed,” said cemetery association treasurer Sylvia M. Woodhouse. “Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. But the bottom line is it takes money to keep it looking nice.”
The cemetery now owns 7 acres, she said.
“The new section consisting of 356 lots was opened April 5, 2005,” she said. “To date 1354 interments have been made at the cemetery since 1899.”
The cemetery has a long history. On July 20, 1824, a meeting was held to appoint officers to oversee the management of the cemetery which was originally called West Lowville Burying Ground. During the organizational meeting, officers were appointed “to take management of the Burying Ground in the West part of Lowville,” Mrs. Woodhouse said.
Records show, that at a July 20, 1824 meeting “organized and appointed officers were to take management of the Burying Ground in the West part of Lowville. The duty of an appointed committee was to get a deed of the grounds and to purchase a road of five rods in width from the Burying Grounds to the main road.”
An association was formed as early as 1810. Additional land was purchased April 1, 1827. Two acres and 26 hundredth of an acre of land was purchased on March 29, 1866. In the early 1940s lots were sold with the price being 25 cents per square foot and $100 for perpetual care. Adult interment was $13 and for children up to 12 years of age, interment was $7.50 with an extra $5 fee for burials on Sundays and holidays.
On Feb. 20, 1871 all people interested in the West Lowville Burying Grounds were requested to meet at the House of Hamblin, known as Luther Hamblin’s Hotel in West Lowville.
It is noted that 11 men, soldiers of the War of 1812, are buried in the cemetery. Also 26 soldiers of the Civil War and one soldier from World War I.
The Board of Trustees for West Lowville Rural Cemetery Association are; president Donald Chambers, vice president Randy Bellinger, secretary Gail Klosner, treasurer Sylvia Woodhouse and trustees Kathy Berry, Martin Beyer, Jane Berrus, Douglas Hanno and Robert G. Chambers.
“The trustees have been working hard to keep the cemetery looking nice,” said Mrs. Woodhouse. “They have adopted rules and regulations and a copy has been placed in the message board at the cemetery.”
The treasurer said the cemetery association accepts donations for the upkeep and maintenance of the property.
“Please remember your cemetery when a loved one passes,” she said. “Donations can be given in any amount in memory of your loved one. When making your will remember your cemetery with a bequest of monies for the upkeep of the cemetery or for general use. Cemeteries’ only income other than donations are lot sales, interments and the interest from investments. Mowing is a high expense for a cemetery.”
All donations are appreciated. Send to treasurer Sylvia Woodhouse, 7546 Route 12, Lowville, NY 13367.
The annual meeting of The West Lowville Rural Cemetery Association will be held at 7 p.m. May 8 in the municipal building, 5535 Bostwick St.
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