YORKTOWN, N.Y.-The Town Board is attempting to restore a historically significant cemetery on Old Yorktown Road that has been abandoned for more than a century.
Dr. Edwin Pell of the Yorktown Historical Society said the cemetery is the resting place of Col. John Hyatt III, a revolutionary soldier whose grandfather was the first settler of the town of Yorktown.
The cemetery is also the resting place for several other prominent early Yorktown families: Turner, Roake, Ferris, Travis and Strang. The last year a burial took place in the cemetery was 1825. As late as 1907, there were 13 headstones in the cemetery, though none of them remain today, Pell said.
The cemetery, which is on an otherwise vacant 0.7 acres, is owned by the estate of Helen Bernstein, who also owned the house across the street on Old Yorktown Road. That property was gifted to the town, which cared for it for 10 years before it was sold to a private developer.
Though the estate continues to pay taxes on the vacant property, the board is considering legislation to declare the cemetery abandoned, giving the town the authority to restore it.
“We should say it has been neglected and call it abandoned, and then the law allows us to give it care,” Pell said.
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