Mystery Cemeteries of Montgomery County, NY
Jack Williams, one of the team of researchers interested in Glen's Hoff/Shelp Cemetery, visited a small cemetery called Pruyn & Faulkner several years ago.
Judy Mars Tylutki requests assistance identifying a "mystery cemetery" in the town of Glen, Montgomery County.
"When I was a child I remember going to a small cemetery on my grandparents property. It was located on Hughes Road in the town of Glen. I don't know who owns the property now but there was a dirt road (driveway) off Hughes Road and a couple named Ted and Hannah Schwartz(?) used to live at the base of this hill.
A distinguishing aspect of this property was a sulpher spring there. At the base of this hill was a steep bank with a creek at the bottom. At the top of this bank was a small family cemetery. The names on the headstones escape me presently. My grandparents who owned the property then were Clarence and Mary Mars.
If you travelled up the dirt road to the house the cemetery was in the lower right corner of the property. Their house was across a ravine from the Knapik Farm and I also recall the name of Russell Hart. Please let me know, if you know anything about this cemetery. I believe the property today is owned by the Paro family."
Judy Mars Tylutki
We just received a report of a "mystery cemetery" in the town of Charleston, Montgomery County from Cheryl Classick!
"I don't know if this is any interest, but we lived on a farm with an abandoned cemetery. This farm was located between Charleston Four Corners and Sloansville. It was on Toback Road. Go down the road next to Toback and closer to Charleston Four Corners a short distance and you may see an old farmhouse that has been burned. I haven't been there since the 1980's so it may all be gone by now. In the 1960's we got many visitors asking to look in this old cemetery. It was two fields away from the house in a grove of trees. There used to be an old road before you came to Toback, but someone tore down the bridge. This was all a part of our farm. If you went down this road you would see an old barn, the house was long gone even in the 1960's. I hope this is of some help. The stones were hard to read then, mostly from the Revolutionary War period."
I mailed Cheryl back if she could remember more details after 30+ years.
"I don't remember any other road names, but it is only about 5 miles between Sloansville and Charleston Four Corners. Coming from Sloansville, you come up a hill and the road is a dirt road on the left. It always had a name on it the last we saw of it. There is a short road straight across from it, I think a dead end. Go down Toback Road until you come to a downhill, that's not far, and on the right was our farm house. The last time we were there, there were houses built up along the right side of the road where we had our pastures. Our old house, wasn't much left of it and all grown up, I guess it was for sale, they may have cleared it off and built a new house by now. There were still a few old buildings standing. There was a farm tractor road straight back of the barn and if you went back two fields, there was a small group of trees where the cemetery was. Just before this there was a huge pile of stones in that field. We were told that Indians were buried there and not to disturb it. So we always plowed around it. I can't imagine how the place looks now. If you find it, please let me know. Thanks, Cher."
It's possible that this un-named cemetery could be one of the small cemeteries we have listed for the town of Charleston. We just don't know. If anyone thinks this cemetery was ever read and once had a name, or has any info, please contact both Cheryl and myself. The details and directions sound like those to the Gordon Farm Cemetery (last read about 75 years ago), but driving from the opposite direction. If you decide to visit the cemetery, please get permission from the property owner.
August 4: More info from Cheryl:
Yes, Toback Road is on the county line, we had acres across the road which were in Schoharie County. And yes the road did have a bridge over it in 1960 when we first saw it, someone took the bridge down before we moved on the farm, so we were quite surprised at that because he had no other way to get to the fields except the long
route around. My parents have a 1980's map of the area and even then Toback Road was not on the map, probably because it wasn't paved. If you went down the road where the bridge was, I don't think we ever knew the name of that road also dirt, you would
turn left at the old barn (have no idea if it is still standing. There used to be a house there, but was gone by 1960. So we actually were buying what was once two farms. I rather like this mystery since I could take anyone directly to the place! But with all the building going on in 1986, which was the last time we saw the place, who knows how many houses are there now. Maybe it's a subdivision! There was also an old schoolhouse at the turn off to Toback road. I still wonder about the Indian burial place. At least people back in the 1960's knew about it as we had several visitors to the cemetery. I am hoping in the fall to make a trip back there. If anyone does go there, please let me know! Oh, in my second sentence I was talking about the other road next to Toback and closer to Charleston Four Corners.
March 20, 1999: A little history of the area of the Keck's Center cemetery from Alan Cole:
In regards to the cemetery on Rte 67 west of Johnstown And the corner of New Turnpike Rd. Formerly Known as the Christman Rd. I have been a funeral director in Johnstown For 50 yrs. and we always called this the Martin Cemetery.
December 19, 1998: A little history of the area of the Keck's Center cemetery from Paul Russell:
I think I know that cemetery well. It is the old Keck Center Lutheran Cemetery [listed under "unknown" on the Herk/Mont. Cos. webpage.] on the New Turnpike and Rt. 67. Before St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Johnstown was founded in 1825, there was a Lutheran church here. Some of my connections [WERT family] farmed the glebe land connected to this church and the cemetery was at the corner of it. The church must have burned or been destroyed. At any rate, some of my WERT ancestors were buried there. I am also related to a PUTMANS from there and the names I saw in the posting looked familiar. The WERT, COUGHNET and BOSHART families settled all around the crossroads.
September 22, 1998: Our first mystery cemetery has a name - Keck's Center Cemetery. This just in from C. Putman:
I just saw the posting of the old cemetery west of Johnstown at the corner of State Route 67 and New Turnpike Road. My g-g-g grandfather, Richard Putman, is buried in this cemetery. The information I have on him states he is buried in the Kecks Center Cemetery. The Fulton County Historian also told me this was Kecks Center Cemetery.
When I visited there, I only copied the Putman stones, so I only have a small amount to add to the information Pat Hacker copied.
1. Richard Putman Departed this Life April 14, 1835 in the 89th year of his age. Died in the marriage state 65 years 6 months. (There is a Revolutionary War marker next to his stone)
2. Nelly Van Braklen wife of R. Putman died Feb 20, 1849 aged 100 y 7 m
3. Peter Putman died _____ aged 66 y 1 d (This was an overturned stone)
4. Mar__? (Stone next to Peter's, brokenup, unreadable)
5. Eli son of Peter and Maria Putman died March 8, 1838
6. Margaret A daughter of _______ Putman died __ 29, 1851 aged 6 m 6d
Several weeks ago (June 1998) I was contacted by Pat Hacker, a resident of California but born and raised in Johnstown, that she would be visiting Montgomery and Fulton Counties. During her visit Pat stopped to take a reading of a small cemetery with old Mohawk Valley surnames. "While there I was wandering country roads and found an old abandoned cemetary. It was on Hwy 67 from
Johnstown to Ephratah on the corner of New Turnpike Road and Hwy 67. Don't
have the faintest idea the name of it. I did go in and wrote down the names
of the stones and any information I could get. It was in pretty bad shape,
but there is some info there." "Enclosed is a list that I typed up of the abandoned cemetery on Highway 67 and New Turnpike Road. I am also enclosing a map to show you where I found it. I hope the web site can use this informaton. I stopped there Wednesday, June 10, 1998 just out of curiosity and had my genealogy things with me and thought it would be a good idea."
It sure was, Pat. We hope more researchers take a clue from you while traveling this summer. Pat's descriptive paragraph details the urgency that similar abandoned cemeteries be read as as soon as possible, in the event that the stones erode further or they truly disappear to vandals, development and the elements. According to Pat's map this cemetery is a little over a mile west of the hamlet of Kecks Center and just south of the Fulton Co. Sanitary Landfill. Located in the extreme southwest corner of the Town of Johnstown, Fulton County, it's just to the east of the Town of Ephratah and a few miles north of the border of the Town of Mohawk, Montgomery County. This area was once Montgomery County, until Fulton County was split off. Surrounding roads are named after early Mohawk Valley residents, e.g. Sammons Rd., Edick Rd., Soule Rd., Copperknoll Rd. The cemetery is at the intersection of New Turnpike Road and Rte. 67. If you know the name of this cemetery or have found an old list to compare to Pat's recent reading, please contact the coordinator.
"This cemetery is at the very intersection of the noted highways amidst tall trees. It is almost destroyed. There are stones turned over face down which I did not touch for fear of poison oak etc. and or breaking them even further. Some stones are so worn its impossible to distinguish certain numbers or letters. I put the markers by names to indicate that this group of people were together in some manner, either with one monument, or side by side, etc. I hope this information can be of assistance to someone." Patricia A. Hacker, June 16, 1998.
TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN, FULTON COUNTY
KECK'S CENTER CEMETERY
On the Corner of New Turnpike Road and Route 67 Toward Ephratah From Johnstown, NY
- Nancy Covenburg
died January 18, 1881 - age 66 years, 2 months, 7 days
- Philip A. Martin
died January ___
- Albert Phillips
- Libbie M.
Daughter of P. P. & S. Martin
died December 13, 1875 - 10 years 8 months
Philip P. Martin
1834 - 1918
Susan Shaw his wife
1848 - 1919
- John Beakle
1811 - 1898?
- Mary Beakle
- Maria wife of Richard Suits
Born January 1, 1842
Died August 25, 1888
- Richard Suits
Co. D. 153 NY vol.
Died June 2, 1910
Age 70 years
- Berry ___???
- Elias Denmark
Died August 7, 1888
November 23, 18??
- M.Y.??? J.Y.???
Wouldn't surprise me if the above initials were Youngs.
- Philip Martin
Born October 6, 1806
Died December 30, 1895
Born May 16, 1808
Died June 16, 1888
- ____ Martin
wife of J. Young
1848 - 1888
1841 - 1912
- John A. Martin
1808 - 1880
- Frances Martin
1864 - 1880
- James Young
1858? (could be 1838) - 1927
1838 - 1924
- Elizabeth Snell
wife of Eleazer Suits
1832 - 1873
Co. D. 115 NY Vol.
1829 - 1917
1861 - 1942
1873 - 1942
- Elizabeth Hardin
wife of Edward Burdick
- George Martin
1827 - ???
1834 - 1904
- Richard Putman
died April 14, 1835
- ____ B_____
- Margaret A. Putman
- Ophelia wife of Edward Shults
Died November 5, 1818?
- Alice E. Martin
August? 18, 1888
- Adam C. Casler
January? 16, 1892
- Catherine wife of ? Martinc
- Mary Mowrey
1851 - 1862
1856 - 1862
1854 - 1862
- Anson Mowrey
Died October 28, 1889
Nancy - his wife
1840 - 1842
1845 - 1850
1841 - 1850
1849 - 1856
1862 - 1866
son of ? Mowrey
August ?, 1851
- Henry Woolrich
1812 - 1856
Margaret Gibson his wife
1815 - 1905
George H. Woodrich
Ella M. Gray his wife
"This cemetery is at the very intersection of the noted highways amidst tall trees. It is almost destroyed. There are stones turned over face down which I did not touch for fear of poison oak etc. and or breaking them even further. Some stones are so worn its impossible to distinguish certain numbers or letters. I put the markers by names to indicate that this group of people were together in some manner, either with one monument, or side by side, etc. I hope this information can be of assistance to someone." Patricia A. Hacker, June 16, 1998
Pat tells us a bit about her local genealogy search:
"There is a Getman Cemetery that I have found on the map and am also interested in that one. My grandmother's sister, Ida Dockstader, married Roscoe Getman and they are buried at the Ephratah Cemetery. My grandmother was a Dockstader. Of course there is tons of information on that line going way back when. My grandfather was a Glenar (spelled about a dozen different ways I am finding out). They all came from Germany and settled in the Palatine Area. This is all on my dad's side of the family. My mother is French and I am also trying to gather information there, but with difficulty because of the language barrier. I am really having fun doing all this research. I really enjoyed doing this for the web site."
Can anyone confirm the location of the small cemeteries listed below and if they are still in existence? The first one may be the Getman Cemetery that Pat refers to in her letter. These lists were contributed by Sandy Burns.
TOWN OF EPHRATAH, MONTGOMERY COUNTY
exact location unknown; Ephratah is now part of Fulton County, to the north of Montgomery County
|GETMAN, Andrew|| d. 5/22/1866|| ae 62yr 7mo 17da|
|George|| d. 10/17/1861|| ae 36yr 0mo 1da || son of Andrew and Sarah|
|Susannah JOSLIN|| b. 2/29/1784|
| wife of J.|
|Harrison|| b. 9/4/1853|
| son of J. and E.|
|Mary E.|| b. 3/21/1857|
| dau. of J. and E.|
|Two or three graves with field stones.|
TOWN OF MOHAWK, MONTGOMERY COUNTY
on Brower Farm, Switzer Hill
|GARRISON, Mary|| d. 2/18/1813||ae 78 yrs|| wife of Abraham|
|William B.||d. 9/25/1829|| ae 55 yrs|
|[*VEEDER] VEDDER, Mary|| d. 7/10/1823|| ae 78 yrs|| wife of Volkart|
December 27, 1998: A note from Thomas MacEntee:
I am able to provide more info on Mary Garrison listed under Mystery Cemeteries at
Mary Garrison was actually Maria Brower who married Abraham Garrison. Since you list the Garrison Cemetary on Brower Farm, I believe this is that same as Mary Garrison.
I have no birth info on either Mary or Abraham Garrison but they had 2 daughters: Annatje (Anne) Garrison born June 1766 and Rebeccah Janse Garrison born March 1764.
Anne Garrison married Victor Cornelius Putman (b. 5/31/1756) and she is buried in the Auriesville Cemetary. They had 4 children.
Rebeccah Garrison married Garret Putman (b. abt 1751). I do not know where she is buried but they had 10 children.
*Coordinator's note: I had a suspicion that Mary Vedder was actually the wife of Volkert Veeder and emailed our Veeder Family expert, Joan Veeder, to take a preview of this cemetery. Her response:
"You are correct in connecting Maria HARDENBURG Veeder as a wife of Volkert Veeder. Maria was his second wife whom he married late in life. I checked my Veeder History, and also checked with a Veeder historian and it is believed there were no children from this union. Volkert is supposed to be buried in a plot on his homestead; no one seems to know why his second wife is buried in Garrison Cemetery. I also checked the VEDDER family history and there are no Volkerts with wife named Mary or Maria. With two distinct families of VEEDER and VEDDER it makes it confusing at times. But Maria is definately the second wife of Volkert. The information could most definately be helpful to anyone researching the Hardenburg line. I would suggest however that the name be changed to VEEDER and not VEDDER. I am sure it was a typo, especially if the stones were worn and difficult to read. The E could have very easily been taken for a D. Joan Veeder, June 21, 1998.