The Woodstock Cemetery Committee is seeking funds to continue restoring gravestones that have fallen into disrepair at its Rock City Road site.
Last Spring and Summer, Joe Farannini and his Hoosick Falls-based business Graveside Matters restored more than 200 gravestones that had succumbed to the ravages of time and neglect. His work was made possible by a $65,000 grant and now Cemetery Committee Chair Teri Reynolds wants him to return. Farannini taught committee members and volunteers basic cleaning techniques to restore markers to their former glory without damaging them while he worked on the ones that needed more substantial work.
When the town took control of the defunct Woodstock Cemetery Association in 2018, it received a one-time grant to address needs such as resurfacing the loop road, fencing repairs, tree work and other maintenance items. That money has been spent and there are still items that need work, such as a stone pillar at the north end. The cemetery receives no funding other than from plot sales and burial fees, so the hardworking people on the seven-member committee depend on work from volunteers and from fundraising.
Recently, the Cemetery Committee approached the Geezer Corps, a group of civic-minded individuals made up of former town councilmen Lorin Rose and Richard Heppner, volunteer firefighter Jim Hanson and former Planning Board member Tom Unrath, to design and build a map kiosk to direct visitors to the different sections of the cemetery. The Cemetery Committee raised the money and Woodstock graphic artist Kate Jellinghaus designed the map itself,
When the fence needed some TLC, Woodstock Hardware owner Vincent Christofora donated the paint and a group of volunteers spent a few weekends giving it a facelift. Catskill Mountain Pizza ensured the volunteers were well-fed.
“The committee and volunteers work so hard,” Reynolds said.
Another project in the works involves gathering the names of all the soldiers buried at Woodstock Cemetery so they are formally recognized.
The committee is also working on gathering and cleaning up old plot deeds and records, which have been stored in various places including the homes Cemetery Association members over the years.
To volunteer, contact Town Supervisor Bill McKenna’s office at (845) 679-2113, ext. 17.
Donations can be paid to Town of Woodstock, with “Cemetery” in the memo line and mailed to 45 Comeau Drive, Woodstock, NY, 12498, or dropped off in person.