Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 2019 Update : Grass Situation

It is impossible not to notice the height of the grass at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery on Krumkill Road. This is an ongoing saga which will hopefully come to an end soon. As mentioned in the June 2019 post, the new owner of the cemetery, Pastor Ronald Myles Jr. of the Healing from Heaven Friends Fellowship, stated last Fall that he has no intention of caring for or maintaining the cemetery. As of today, Myles speaks the truth. The grass is over three feet tall and he has done nothing to maintain the property. The pictures below were taken two weeks ago. The grass is presently much higher. Matter of fact, the grass is so high that it is now falling over.




Many people including lot owners, families of those buried there, and neighborhood residents are taking notice of the grass predicament. Numerous venues of social media have postings where people are fed up with the grass situation. In mid June, a letter was written to two elected officials and also two city officials about the grass quandary. On July 2nd, after a visit to the offices of the Department of General Services was undertaken, we were told that the city was going to mow the grass, charge and fine the owner. As of yesterday, July 9th, the grass is still three feet tall. After another reasonable amount of time has passed, if the grass is not mowed, another campaign with a different approach is set to begin.

Regarding Myles, for a man who is supposed to be a Pastor, in my humble opinion he has a serious lack of character. How does one think or believe that he can own a cemetery and not care for it? Pastor Myles please explain this to me. 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

June 2019 Update

Two more gravestones completed today. The weather is beautiful; almost too hot at times. The restoration of leaning, broken, and fallen gravestones began back in April with approximately one hundred stones needing attention. Today that number is now down to fifty-nine and that number will continue to drop as this project progresses.

All is going well with the cemetery project; however, there is a new dilemma unfolding presently. A question for you: have you driven through the cemetery lately? If you have, then you know the situation regarding the grass, if not, well, the grass is now about three feet high in length. Yes, that number is correct. The lawn has not been mowed since early August 2018. This is obviously putting a damper on the speed of the project. It is also forcing people to bring in their own mowers and weed whackers to knock down and remove the grass from their family plots. Do I need to say, "this is unacceptable!" Families should not have to do this, period!

A bit of background history on the Evangelical Protestant Church. In the 1920s, the Evangelical churches merged with another religious body that is now known as the United Church of Christ. When Reverend John U. Miller of Albany's South End Evangelical Protestant Church died in 2010; it was decided that the church would close. After this decision was made, the United Church of Christ desired to sell the former church building, the pastoral building, and its cemetery as a package deal.

Fast forward to July 2018. The United Church of Christ found a buyer for the properties in Pastor Ronald Myles Jr. and his Healing from Heaven Friends Fellowship. In September 2018, Pastor Myles was contacted regarding the height of the grass at the cemetery. Myles indicated that he only wanted to purchase the church building and not the cemetery; but, a contingency for the sale stated that he had to take all of the properties, including the cemetery. Myles then said that he has no plans to do anything with the cemetery including the care for it.

So, there we have it. An individual or a Fellowship church/congregation that intends to let the cemetery decay.

There is a plan in motion that will hopefully get Myles to at the least get the lawn mowed. Stay tuned...


Thursday, March 28, 2019

March 2019 Update

Just a couple of days ago I took a ride through the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. Unfortunately some gravestones have sustained some damage over the Winter. This adds a few more gravestones to the list that need attention. One such additional stone is that for the Civil War veteran that someone knocked over when his or her car was driven over the curb and into the cemetery. Plastic pieces of the car still remain at the site.

If all goes well, work will begin in the cemetery within two weeks. There are no set days for when the work will begin. Everything is weather, family, and work commitment dependent. We mentioned once before; there are approximately one hundred gravestones that need attention. Most are small and medium stones. However there are enough larger ones to keep us busy. Obviously we can upright more smaller stones in one day than the larger ones.

It is our desire to have the cemetery restoration project completed by the Fall of this year. If you are in the neighborhood of the cemetery, stop in to say hello, or to roll up your sleeves and join in with the project. Help will never be turned down.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January 2019 Update

Yes, this blog is still alive and the cemetery restoration continues! It has been a while since the last post. Many items of interest have occurred since the August article.

  • Numerous gravestones were rehabbed during the 2018 season. Including three obelisks that were in danger of toppling over. We can think of three more that need attention this Spring.
  • Approximately ninety more stones, most of them smaller in size, are still in need of attention at the cemetery. When Spring and warmer weather arrive work will begin at a fast pace. The plan is to complete the gravestone restoration in 2019. 
  • More topsoil, stone dust, D2 (the go-to cleaning product), and bagged cement for fabricating new bases for certain gravestones will need to be purchased.
  • Very soon a plan will be devised to reclaim the perimeter of the cemetery, again. This needs to be done, again, before the encroaching growth gets outrageous. Hopefully this work will begin in the Winter as soon as some of the snow melts. The plan is to have the perimeter cleaned up before the stone work begins.
  • It appears that the littering and dumping has slowed down at the cemetery but violators are still sneaking in. Isn't it easier to just to put your garbage in front of your house?
  • Recently, someone,perhaps a fool speeder, lost control of his/her car while driving around the bend. The car hopped the curb and drove into the cemetery. A stone of a Civil War veteran that was in the process of being restored was knocked over. Fortunately the stone was not completely restored otherwise a second repair would be even more difficult. Luckily the stone did not break further.
  • Last year an attempt to replace the roof on the old cemetery vault building was moving forward but abruptly stopped. The roof is completely missing on one side due to tree branches rubbing the asphalt shingles over the years. The roof desperately needs to be replaced soon. The roof may even collapse this Winter. The reason for the halting of the roof replacement is next.
  • In July, a congregation bought the former Evangelical Protestant Church building in the South End for its services. A requirement for the sale of the church building stated that the cemetery had to be included in the transaction. When the grass was getting "knee-high" a concerned individual whom has numerous ancestors buried in the cemetery contacted the new property owner and asked what are the future plans for upkeep of the cemetery? The response was "absolutely none... I didn't want the cemetery but I had to take it to get the church... I have no plans for doing anything with it"
  • To be continued...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

August 2018 Update

What a wet and rainy season this Summer has been. We uprighted two and a half stones earlier today. We should have had three completed but a monsoon blew in and half drowned us this morning. Unlike the wicked witch of the west, we won't melt.

A thank you goes out to M-A C for her donation to this project. Thank you again!

Since the restoration season has begun over 35 gravestones have been uprighted and secured. Two of which were severely leaning obelisks and one obelisk that had already toppled over. Our goal is to correct the dangerous stones before they fall or possibly injure someone. Numerous Civil War veterans whose tablet style stones were broken were cleaned and uprighted by casting new cement bases for the stones of these former soldiers. One of which was Colonel Frederick Andes. He is once again standing at attention.

Does anyone remember his obelisk that had tipped over? The remaining pieces were disassembled, a new level stone dust base installed, and then the obelisk reassembled. The cross for the top of this obelisk will be replaced on top of the cap after it is re-pinned and re-mortared for safety.



The same was done with this severely leaning obelisk which is a little over 7 feet tall.

Before

After


New developments have surfaced where a new owner has purchased the properties of the former Evangelical Protestant Church, including the cemetery. We will see how this progresses. The lawn is very high at this point and desperately needs mowing. The former lawn contractor was told to cease mowing. We will keep you posted on this.

My plans to attempt a new roof for the vault building are now on hold because of the sale of the properties. Perhaps something can be worked out. Below are pictures of the outside of the right side of the roof and another from inside the building. If left like this it will not be long before the roof completely collapses. Left as is, I predict three years maybe less before it is gone.

Exterior View


Interior View

Friday, June 22, 2018

June 2018 Update

Although rehab work started later than expected at the cemetery. It is now going full steam. Materials were purchased for use. Numerous stones have been leveled and up-righted. Also, a large leaning tree that was leaning was cut down and removed. Photos of the work are below. The tree was completely removed. The photo show partial removal.





The photo below is the next obelisk that will be worked on this weekend. The monument is simply leaning too much now and is now a safety concern. Soon it will be dismantled, its base leveled, and then re-assembled. Photos to follow upon its completion.




Monday, February 19, 2018

February 2018 Update

Plans for the 2018 cemetery rehab season at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery are made and work is underway. One would never know this though. What is being done presently? For years, much garbage and discarded plastic flowers were thrown into a corner of the old vault building. This garbage is being removed little by little. The rear shed behind the vault building is already emptied of its former junk. During the late Spring, it is hoped that someone might donate some expertise, time, and sweat to help replace the roofs on these buildings. If the roofs are left as is the buildings will collapse. Let's get this corrected before more damage is done.

Once the weather warms a little more; the hilly center area will have the remaining roots and vines removed, which should keep the extreme sumac growth down. Also the outer perimeter will be cleared of what has crept inward again.

Hopefully by early April stone work will be started. Since I am still recuperating from shoulder surgery smaller gravestones will be tackled first. The bases will be lifted and re-leveled. Any actual repairs to the marble stones and or mortar work on these stones will be taken care of by mid-May. When this season ends the section in between the driveway and the Route 85 fence will be completed along with the the furthest section in back heading towards the middle of the grounds. The far opposite side of the cemetery is complete now. All damaged and unlevel gravestones were corrected in 2016 and 2017.