MARGARETVILLE — A walking tour of Pepacton Cemetery, where the remains of 1,525 people from burial grounds in the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoir basins were moved in the 1950s and ‘60s, will be held Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m.
The cemetery, maintained by the NYC Department of Environ- mental Protection, is located on NYCity Highway 30A in the Town of Andes. There is no admission to this event and reservations are not required. In the event of heavy rain at 9 a.m. the walk will be held Sunday, July 10 at 10 a.m.
Attendees are advised to bring water and sunscreen. The grounds are mostly level but sturdy shoes are suggested. The tour will take a little over an hour.
Tour guides will be gravestone conservator and Delhi Town Historian Marianne Greenfield, and Middletown Historical Society President Diane Galusha. Greenfield will explain the history of the cemetery’s development and the restoration of 305 headstones and 80 unmarked graves that she coordinated under contract with the DEP 2016-18.
Visitors will then learn about some of the men, women and children whose remains were relocated to this site, part of the former Ken Sprague farm that the City acquired for this purpose. Remains were removed from 12 burial grounds before those cemeteries were inundated by the impounded East and West Branches of the Delaware River.
Among the individuals tour-goers will learn about are:
• Jabez Sisson who worked on a whaling ship off the coast of Greenland before retiring to Cannonsville where he lived with his daughter; he died in 1846 at age 9.
• Nathaniel Cannon and his three wives, Fanny, Mary and Susan, who all died at age 40.
• The six children of Robert and Hannah Knapp of Shavertown.
• Israel Barnhart, a “Calico Indian” during the Anti-Rent War of the 1840s.
• Phillip Cole of Colchester, who served with the 20th Regiment of US Colored Troops during the Civil War. He is one of 17 Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery. There are also three veterans of the War of 1812 and one from the Spanish American War.
Many early settlers are buried at Pepacton. A number of their headstones were inscribed by the itinerant stone carver known as Coffin Man, whose story will be related to tour-goers.
The unidentified remains of as many as 30 people believed to have been enslaved by Alexander Cole of Colchester are buried in the Cat Hollow section of the cemetery. Here Galusha will share some of her research into slavery in Delaware County.
Directions to Pepacton Cemetery: From Margaretville, take NYS Rte 30 south to Shavertown Bridge; at the Shavertown Bridge turn right on County Rt. 1 (Tremperskill Rd.), then left on NYC Hiway 30A, 4 miles, cemetery on left. From Andes take County Rt 1 (Tremperskill Rd) to NYC Highway 30A, turn right, 4 miles, cemetery on left. From Downsville turn left on NYC Highway 30A at the DEP facility on Rt 206/30. 11 miles, cemetery on right.
For more information, call 607 267-2708.