Historic cemetery archway in need of public’s help

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 2:31 PM EDT
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TOWN NORFORK, New York (WWNY) - Hale Cemetery in the town of Norfolk has an arch entrance that’s in need of repairs. The cemetery’s association is turning to the public for help to save it.

The cemetery has been a part of the community for more than 150 years.

Thomas Woodward is there to keep it clean and maintained. For the past few days, Woodward has been clearing trees to save the graves of people who lived in the Norfolk-Stockholm area since the 1800s.

“These are some of our oldest families that are buried here. So, they are like the root of this area,” said Woodward, Hale Cemetery Association leader.

Woodward has family in the cemetery, but his main concern is saving the cemetery archway entrance.

The archway was built in the 1920s and has been a part of the cemetery for more than 100 years, but that might not be the case for much longer.

Cracks have slowly spread across the arch over time and temporary repairs have not done much to prevent the entrance from crumbling further.

Woodward says that the cemetery association itself does not have enough money to save the archway even though it makes some form of profit.

“We’re making a small profit. Our biggest expense right now is our mowing. I don’t have facts and figures with me, but we spent somewhere around $1,500 to $1,600 in mowing last year,” he said.

The cost to fix the archway ranges between $40,000 and $60,000 and if the money isn’t found, the archway will have to be demolished.

But for now, Woodward will continue to work to make sure that each person buried there is remembered.

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