Unsettling Headstone Mystery Solved at Poughkeepsie Cemetery
It may sound strange but I am one of those people who doesn't mind taking a stroll through a cemetery. I realize some people would find this an uncomfortable thing to do but walking through a cemetery can be both peaceful and a history lesson. You might be surprised to find out who has a final resting place in a Hudson Valley cemeteries.
If you have the time you should check out the list I found on findagrave.com of famous graves in New York. According to their website, there are more than 4,600 famous people buried in New York and many of them are right here in our local cemeteries.
Some notables on the list include Civil War Union Army Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer, whose final resting place is the United States Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point. Boxer Floyd Patterson is buried in the New Paltz Rural Cemetery in New Paltz and the 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren is resting in the Kinderhook Reform Church Cemetery in Kinderhook.
The other thing you might discover as you are walking through our local cemeteries is what I refer to as a mini cemetery. Recently Hudson Valley Headstones & Cemetery Research shared an example of one on their Facebook page. If you read the post below you will get a better understanding of what this means, for some, it was a mystery but basically, it is where they move an entire cemetery to another for various reasons.
In this particular case, they are referencing the North Road Cemetery being moved to the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. In the time since the original post when up on April 2, 2021 many people have added information including the fact that it appears the headstones were moved but not the actual graves. Believe it or not, this was a common practice. (Stimmel Law - Basic Law pertaining to cemeteries)
Hudson Valley Headstones & Research actually found information that they shared from findagrave.com on their post in the comment section that explains that only the stones were moved but it does not say why the bodies were left behind.
So the next time you want to take a peaceful walk and possibly take in some interesting Hudson Valley history consider visiting one of the many local cemeteries. You never know who and what you might find.