Posted tagged ‘Greenvale Cemetery’

Greenvale Cemetery Tour – Saturday, May 7th at 1:00 p.m.

May 4, 2011

Beautiful Greenvale Rural Cemetery sits beside the canal in the village of Fairport, New York.  On Saturday, May 7th, I’ll be conducting a tour of Greenvale to introduce residents to a few of the nearly forty Civil War soldiers buried here.  After the war, many of these veterans became leading members of Fairport society and of G.A.R. Post 211. 

The tour begins at the Gazebo in Kennelley Park at 1:00 p.m. where a member of the Fairport Museum will lead the way to Greenvale Cemetery.  Once the group arrives, I’ll get the tour underway beginning with the grave of Samuel Larwood of the 33rd New York Infantry.  We will weave our way through the cemetery and hear tales of cavalry troopers, infantry soldiers and a drummer boy before ending the tour at young Shadrick Benson’s final resting place.

This Illuminated History Greenvale Cemetery tour is held in conjunction with the Fairport Merchants Association and the Fairport Museum.  We hope you can join us!

Looking Back While Facing Forward

January 1, 2011

The end of the year brings reflection as we put to rest one year while looking ahead to a new beginning.  I’ll always remember 2010 as an incredible year for my Civil War soldiers project, as well as for the start of some new research projects. 

Martha Jewett & Evan Marshall visit Mary Jewett Telford's grave

In January, I met a descendant of one of my Civil War veterans.  Martha Jewett is the second great-grandniece of Civil War nurse Mary Jewett Telford.  Martha and her husband, Evan Marshall, drove to Fairport to attend my Illuminated History presentation for the Perinton Historical Society.  After Martha and Evan returned home, we spent a frantic two weeks emailing and calling each other in order to meet the deadline for Mary Jewett Telford’s nomination to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.  We will soon hear whether we were successful in our endeavor.

With February came a slight shift in my research, as I began to study the World War I soldiers of Pittsford.  February was also memorable as it was the first time I have formally interviewed a research subject.  Bill Cooper, a World War II veteran and survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, was my assignment.  Bill is a member of American Legion Rayson-Miller Post 899.  The stories he shared about his military experience and life with his wife, Margaret, were 

Bill Cooper, World War II vet

 inspiring.  I also had the opportunity to meet with Philip G. Maples for the first time.  Phil is the Director Emeritus of the Rochester Medical Museum & Archives.  Since then, I have volunteered research time to the RMMA, as well as spent time with Phil, who is himself a Civil War researcher and enthusiast.  I proudly headed to school in February to hear my daughter make her first presentation by portraying Civil War nurse Mary Jewett Telford.

March rang in another opportunity to interview a Battle of the Bulge veteran.  This time it was Ed Kinnen, also a   member of Rayson-Miller.  Ed and his wife, Ellen, graciously invited me into their home so I could talk with Ed about his World War II service.  We share a common love of genealogy, and I was happy to hear them speak of their children and grandchildren and the importance of sharing the family history with them. 

Lynda Skaddan & Jane Andersen, Telford descendants

The next few months went by in a blur as I once again collaborated with Pittsford Town Historian Audrey Johnson for our annual Pittsford Cemetery tour in May.  Theo X. Rojo, who researches the men of the 13th NY Infantry and the 22nd NY Cavalry, contacted me in May and we have spent much time emailing back and forth regarding those units and others.  June was the pinnacle of excitement.  I gave a tour at Greenvale Cemetery for the Perinton Historical Society members.  I was so pleased to meet Cheri Branca, one of my online friends and fellow Find A Grave contributor, who attended the Greenvale tour with her husband, Matt.  Jane Andersen and Lynda Skaddan, descendants of Robert Telford, made a special trip to Fairport with Lynda’s husband Ray so I could meet them at Mary Jewett Telford’s grave to discuss her life.  Mary was wed to Robert’s younger brother, Jacob Telford.  In June, I also had the opportunity to meet Norman and John Henry Miller, who are the nephews of Henry L. Miller.  Henry was killed at Belleau Wood during World War I.  Norm and John are not only veterans themselves, but they come from a long line of men who served their country, beginning with their great-grandfather, Civil War veteran Henry L. Mueller.

Throughout the rest of 2010, I gave a presentation for the American Legion Rayson-Miller Post 899 and discussed the 

John and Norm Miller at the grave of their uncle, Henry L. Miller

early history of the post and its members.  Audrey Johnson and I hosted another tour of the Pioneer Burying Ground in October, and I started a Facebook page for Illuminated History.  However, I think the biggest thrill has been meeting the veterans’ descendants and other researchers, both in person, by phone and online.  I spoke by phone with John R. Bacon, grandson of WWI & WWII Lieutenant Colonel Howard Bacon and great-grandson of Civil War vet John Buckley Bacon, after emailing back and forth for several years.  I spoke with veteran David Retchless about his military service, as well as those of his brother, father and uncle.  Tyler Emery, the current owner of the Retchless military memorabilia, and I have corresponded via email and he has graciously shared photos of the contents of the trunk he owns.  At the Pioneer Burying Ground tour, I met Gail and Marilyn, the daughters of World War I vet Raymond L. Hulbert.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Lloyd F. Allen’s daughters, Betty Anne and Katie, as well as his granddaughter, Elizabeth.  Dr. Allen, like his friend and neighbor Howard Bacon, had also served in both World Wars.

2010 was an extraordinary year.  Thank you for your interest in my project, and your appreciation for these veterans.  With your support, Illuminated History will continue to shine the light on these heroes for many years to come.

Greenvale Cemetery Tour – June 8, 2010

June 8, 2010

Nathan C. Jeffrey, 54th Massachusetts Infantry

What a beautiful evening for a walking tour of Greenvale Cemetery in Fairport, New York!  Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the perfect weather while hearing the incredible stories of the Civil War soldiers who permanently reside there.

We began our tour with Samuel Larwood of the 33rd New York Infantry before moving over to meet Nathan C. Jeffrey, the young soldier who served under Colonel Robert Gould Shaw in the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.  Chester Hutchinson of the 108th New York Infantry amazed everyone with his own description of the wound he received at the Battle of the Wilderness.  The sad story of Charles E. Moore, musician in the 108th New York, followed.  He was just 17 years old when he died of disease.  Charles will not be forgotten.

The “white bronze” Hitchcock monument was next.  It has truly stood the test of time.  The 6th Michigan Cavalry was represented at Greenvale by Doctor Daniel G. Weare, who “looked like a preacher though he could swear like a pirate.”  John D. Kohler of the 140th New York Infantry preceded Joseph S. Kelsey.  Joseph assisted his sister and brother-in-law, Josephine Martha Clarke and Oliver P. Clarke, as caretakers for Mount McGregor, the cottage where President Ulysses S. Grant spent his last months and ultimately died.

Frederick Prouse and the strong military influence in his family were discussed next.  Two of Frederick’s grandsons, Lyle Prouse and Dean Shaw, both served during WWI.  A great-grandson, another Lyle Prouse, was a radio operator on a B-29 bomber during WWII and died when his plane crashed on Iwo Jima.  We then discussed Andrew Abrams, who lost his leg at the Battle of Petersburg, and his brother-in-law George C. Taylor who established the Fairport Herald in 1872.

Everyone was so patient as we overran our time to discuss George S. Filkins, Alanson W. Pepper, William H. Jerrells and Simeon Pepper Howard before ending with Shadrick Benson of the 3rd New York Cavalry.  Special thanks to Alan Keukelaar, Vice-President of the Perinton Historical Society, for setting up the tour, and to Laurie T. Hall and Katie Profitt for their assistance.

Fallen Angel

April 17, 2010

Pointer Monument at Greenvale Cemetery

A sad sight awaited me at Greenvale.  After making my way back to the Fairport cemetery for the second time in five days, I ventured to the far corner to visit the beautiful little angel monument that marks the final resting places of Christopher Pointer (1867-1911) and his descendants, Gerald George Pointer (1937-1937) and Judith Mary Pointer (1939-1940).  As I approached the stone, I noted the large branches that now nearly encircled the angel and her charges.  Upon closer inspection it was evident that the little angel had not emerged unscathed.  Her left wing had sheared off leaving a white scar across her delicate back.

The most amazing thing is that I had just visited Greenvale a few days earlier in preparation for my June 8th cemetery tour.  On that first visit, I had photographed the angel from various angles so that I might have a nice picture for some future use.  The photo above is stitched from two different pictures.  The left photo shows the pristine angel on April 7, and the photo on the right, taken April 11, depicts the fallen angel.

The little angel has been a source of interest to me since my first visit to Greenvale Cemetery in June, 2009.  At that time, I had brought my two year old daughter with me to spend time outdoors while I conducted my research.  AJ gravitated toward the angel and reached up as if to accept the flowers from the hand of a friend.  Since then, I have always held a special place in my heart for the beautifully sculpted monument.

Civil War Nurses and Cemetery Tours

March 26, 2010

The East Rochester – Fairport Post just published a story about our Civil War nurse, Mary Jewett Telford.  Check it out at http://www.fairport-erpost.com/yournews/x1526472626/Civil-War-nurse-remembered-during-national-Women-s-History-Month.  After spending several hours interviewing me and Wilkinson family descendant Floris Lent, reporter Denise Champagne wrote a great article highlighting the incredible achievements of Mary Jewett Telford.  Photographer Jack Haley contributed a beautiful photo of Floris looking through the Jewett family bible.  Thanks to Denise, Jack and the Messenger Post newspapers for a nice tribute to Mary.

My Pittsford Cemetery tour has been scheduled for Saturday, May 15th, at 10:00 a.m.  Additional information can be found on the Town of Pittsford website, www.townofpittsford.org.  Pittsford Town Historian Audrey Johnson will discuss the local notables buried at Pittsford Cemetery, while I speak about some of the Civil War soldiers who rest there. 

Greenvale Cemetery in Fairport, NY, is the location of my June 8th tour.  Additional information about the tour will soon be available on the Perinton Historical Society website, www.perintonhistoricalsociety.org.  Many of the commanders of the G.A.R. Post #211 post are buried there.

Drummer Boy Charles E. Moore of the 108th New York Infantry

September 10, 2009

Just a quick update on the status of Charles E. Moore’s fallen headstone.  The Town of Perinton forwarded my email regarding the possible headstone vandalism to the Village of Fairport.  As of this morning, I had not heard anything from them.  A drive by Greenvale Cemetery today showed that Charles’ headstone is still down.

Cemetery Vandalism – The Desecration of More Than Just a Headstone

August 21, 2009
Charles E. Moore, photo taken on August 20, 2009

Charles E. Moore, photo taken on August 20, 2009

Yesterday, I made my second visit to Greenvale Cemetery located in the village of Fairport, New York.  My previous visit had been on the third of June when I began my research into the Civil War soldiers of Perinton and Fairport.  As I wandered the well-manicured lawn, I noticed a headstone that had toppled over.  A closer look showed that the headstone belonged to Charles E. Moore, a Civil War soldier who had died in service.  Charles joined the 108th NY Volunteer Infantry as a drummer boy.  Less than one year later, Charles was dead of disease at the tender age of 16.

While I don’t know how Charles’ headstone ended up looking skyward, I can imagine the cause may have been vandalism, as there were 6-8 other headstones in the same vicinity which were lying on the ground.  The photo I took on my first visit to Greenvale confirmed that the headstone belonging to this young drummer boy had been upright just a few months before.

I’m not usually one to discuss my views and beliefs in public, but I must say that cemetery vandalism ranks near the top of my list of abhorrent behavior.  What difference does it make to the people of today if someone vandalizes a headstone belonging to a boy of yesterday, long dead and seemingly unremembered, when there is so much strife in today’s world?

The fact is that cemetery vandalism is the desecration of more than just a headstone.  Headstones serve as symbols of our loved ones.  They help us remember our dead.  Who has the right to determine that this boy doesn’t deserve to be remembered?  By knocking over his headstone, this vandal has tried to desecrate the identity which belongs solely to Charles E. Moore.  His headstone is the only way we have to remember him now. 

I’ve contacted the Village of Fairport to alert them of the issue in the hopes that they will be able to right the fallen headstones.  Luckily, the headstone belonging to Charles lies unbroken in the grass, and can once again be placed back on its proper pedestal.  I’ll update the status on the possible vandalism at Greenvale Cemetery as soon as I have more information.

Because Charles was a soldier, his death is all the more poignant to me.  He left his home to serve his country.  He died of illness before being allowed to experience life.  He mourned his fallen comrades in arms even as he himself was mourned just a short time later.  Charles earned his identity and, by his service, earned his military headstone.  Charles E. Moore deserves to be remembered, and I will ensure that he is.


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