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Markers of Famed Albanians ‘Rescued’ in 1945

hookerinknicknewsAbove:  George E. Weisenforth, at left, and Harold W. Littlejohn, employees of Stephen A. Scullen, Loudonville contractor, raise the headstone of Philip Hooker, famed Albany architect, in long neglected section of Albany Rural Cemetery, now being improved. Headstones will be cleaned and replaced in a two-acres area of the cemetery.

Seventy-five years after thousands of graves were relocated from the State Street Burying Grounds to the Church Grounds lot at the Rural Cemetery, the condition of this final resting place had deteriorated to the point that a contractor was assigned the task of clearing the badly overgrown field, locating hundreds of historic headstones to be cleaned, identified, and set in rows.   An article in the October 29, 1945 edition of The Knickerbocker News gave some details of the project. Markers of Famed Albanians ‘Rescued’ By Francis P. Kimball Burial places of Philip Hooker, noted architect, Gen. Peter Gansevoort, Revolutionary hero, and other famed Albanians, neglected and virtually lost for more than half a century, are being “rescued” and identified as a result of a reconstruction project covering two acres in Albany Rural Cemetery. Work on the project has just been started under a contract awarded to Stephen A. Scullen, Loudonville, on recommendations of Charles B. Heisler, cemetery superintendent. In a special report to the cemetery association, Mr. Heisler asserted the area had fallen into such neglect as to become a “wilderness.” Continue reading

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Not The Right Stones

From one of the companion blogs, a post about two Church Grounds stones and a mistake on an interpretive sign in Washington Park.

Not The Right Stones

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Albany’s Dutch Stones – John Wolcott

This article originally appeared in the short-lived Washington Park Spirit on July 29, 1971. ALBANY’S DUTCH STONES by John Wolcott Albany has one of the most interesting and unique histories of any community of Colonial foundation, in America.  But in terms of physical vestiges of its early heritage, the City has virtually nothing to show.  The following is a quotation from a Hudson River Guide published in 1867: “the ambition of the people of Albany seems to be to get rid of, as far as possible, of everything that can make their town venerable or betray its connection with the past.” This statement still holds true today.  The list of historic monuments destroyed down to this year, even after the establishment of the Tulip Festival, the Mayor’s Historic Sites Commission and the associated publicity given to local history, is too long to be mentioned. One type of historical monument that has escaped our insensitive materialism is found in the old tombstones of early Albany.  One must go outside the City to see these interesting, sepulchral monuments, but not far out.  The form that “progress” took here, unlike in other cities, died not even let the dead rest. Continue reading

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