By Michael Turton
Repairs to 40 tombstones at Mountain Avenue Cemetery in Cold Spring signaled the start of restoration efforts at four historic Philipstown graveyards. Garrison resident John Benjamin and Putnam Valley resident Taggart Lake are completing the work as part of a project initiated by the Philipstown Cemetery Committee. New York State law requires towns to maintain inactive cemeteries.
Mountain Avenue Cemetery has 655 gravestones, according to PutnamGraveyards.com. The oldest, that of Cold Spring’s first settler, Thomas Davenport, dates to 1759. Names associated with other prominent settler families such as MeKeel and Jaycox can also be found on numerous tombstones. Cold Spring’s oldest cemetery is the final resting place of noted author and poet George Pope Morris, many West Point Foundry workers and veterans of the Civil War.
Improvements to early area cemeteries on Cedar Street, at MeKeel’s Corners and in North Highlands will also be completed as part of the project.