Friday, September 23, 2011

I See Dead People - Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries

On October 29, in commemoration of Halloween, I will be conducting a tour in a couple of Bovina's cemeteries, telling stories of the people memorialized or buried there.  We'll meet at 11 am at the Bovina Cemetery, which is on Coulter Brook Road.  After a brief visit to the old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery on Reinertsen Hill Road, we'll go to the Brush cemetery next to the Bovina Public Library.  The program will finish up in the Bovina Library where I'll explain some of the cemetery resources available. If it is raining or snowing, we'll meet at the Bovina Library where I've created a slide slow version from which to tell the stories.  I'll be asking for a $2 donation, the proceeds to be given to the Bovina Public Library and the Bovina Historical Society.

What are these stories?  There's the woman who lost her husband, four children and her mother in a 10 day period in the 1860s.  There are a number of Civil War soldiers, those dying in the war and veterans of the war.  And there was Close Light.  Was he a Native American? I'll provide more detail on these and other stories during the program (and I will share these on the blog, too).  We'll also look at some of the interesting stones in Bovina's cemeteries.

One of the reasons I'm able to do this is thanks to the hard work of Ed and Dick Davidson in documenting these cemeteries.  They are in Bovina as of this posting continuing their work of locating all marked graves (go to on the Delaware County Genealogy website for the current list of the burials). And they recently attended the Delaware County Historical Association's gravestone cleaning workshop.  On September 19, I helped them as we cleaned a couple of stones at the old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery on Reinertsen Hill Road.  The results were impressive (before and after pictures are below).  The product they are using is not cheap but it has the advantage of not compromising the stone's integrity.
Dick and Ed cleaning a stone

The gravestone of John Elliott before cleaning.
The gravestone of John Elliott after cleaning.

Ed and Dick verifying stone location using GPS.  The gentleman in the middle is Ed's son, Tom.
Thanks to the Davidson brothers, if you're dead in Bovina, we can find you.

1 comment:

  1. Gabrielle Pierce, Delaware County HistorianSeptember 23, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Awesome, Ray! Looking forward to this.
    Love your final line here, very funny.....:)