HSM offers Sunday Cemetery Strolls

A series of four Sunday Cemetery Strolls will be offered by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown starting Sunday, April 30 with a guided walking tour of the Clovesville Cemetery just west of the Village of Fleischmanns on old Route 28.

The one-hour tour begins at 2 p.m. and includes the adjoining Bnai Israel Cemetery and a small burial ground where several Irish immigrants are interred. Tickets are $5 per person; children 12 and under may take the tour for free.

Reservations are not necessary. Participants are advised to wear sturdy shoes and expect some uphill walking. Please park in cemetery driveway off Grocholl Road.

Guides from HSM and the Clovesville Cemetery Association will introduce tour-goers to 20 cemetery residents, including Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Todd Jr. who lived to be 101; circuit riding Methodist preacher Joseph Green who died of pneumonia as the Clovesville church was being built in 1842; miller Erastus Doolittle; boarding house owner Jane Morrison and members of the Mayes family of builders.

Meet fire watcher and mountain man Mike Todd, and hear the story of local man John Finkle Stone who was killed by Apaches in 1869 as he carried the proceeds from his Arizona gold mine. On the tour route are two veterans whose lives ended in the Philippines a generation apart and who now lie near one another: Richard Kittle died of starvation on the island of Samar in 1902, and William Todd, the first Delaware County man to die in World War II, the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Bnai Israel Cemetery is the resting place of several Jewish immigrants, including Jacob Wadler, an Austrian-born tailor who died when he was struck in the head by a tree limb on his Halcott farm. The tour will also stop at the grave of Gertrude Berg, known to radio and television fans as Molly Goldberg, who got her start in show business at her parents’ boarding house in Fleischmanns.

At the Irish cemetery, docents will share information on Michael McCormack, a tanner and Civil War veteran, and the McGuire children, Maggie, John and Burnie, who died within weeks of each other in 1877.

Future Sunday Cemetery Strolls are planned for Margaretville (May 28), Bedell (June 25) and a pair of Dry Brook-Millbrook cemeteries August 27.