Jerusalem group clears historic cemetery

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
From left: Doug Erwin, Annette Toaspern, Don Wright, Keith Toaspern, Raen Longwell, Lynn Fitch and Judy Erwin.

Jerusalem History Club members met at the Beddoe-Rose Cemetery in Keuka Lake State Park Sunday, Nov. 13 for a cleanup project.  Don Wright, chairperson for the JHC Cemetery Committee had collected and sent in the volunteer slips to the state asking for permission to work on a cleanup of this neglected family cemetery.  

Jim Zimpher of Keuka Lake State Park, Bob Evans, Town of Jerusalem Historian, and Fred and Heather Tillman, family descendants of the Rose Family, had attended the August JHC meeting at the Branchport Library to discuss plans to take care of the overgrown and vandalized site.

After receiving an insurance waiver, a group of seven volunteers spent three hours clearing rotten trees, saplings, undergrowth and leaves from the cemetery.  This is the first step in the plan to show the community cares about this historical Jerusalem site.   

Beginning with the first burial in 1815, 14 souls are buried here, including two granddaughters of Philip Livingston, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  

An educational brochure is being made to list the names of those buried here from the Beddoe, Rose and Sill families, to show photos of their homes, and to tell a brief history of settlement.

The project should be completed by spring 2012 with a sign being made by the state park to identify this historical site.  

Keith Toaspern has made a box to go on the sign which will contain the informational brochure and a notebook for visitors to sign and/ or make comments.  Local school groups visit the cemetery, making this information box an education site for the community.   

The Jerusalem History Club’s goal is to preserve Jerusalem History.  Anyone interested in joining the group can look for the group’s monthly notice in this newspaper, look for flyers at local Jerusalem sites or call 315-536-9887 to get on the email list.