KINDERHOOOK–Somebody placed flowers on the graves at the Persons of Color Cemetery in Kinderhook’s Rothermel Park on or just before August 22. Hollis Seamon, who lives next to the cemetery, which is on the state and national Registers of Historic Places, said her sister noticed the flowers on a morning walk.
There are more than a dozen gravesites with headstones dating from the 19th century.
Ms. Seamon took pictures and said that someone had placed at least one or two flowers by each grave. “Somebody really did go to some trouble to make a gesture,” she told The Columbia Paper in a recent phone interview.
The flowers were placed there overnight or early on the morning after white supremacists staged a demonstration in Charlottesville, VA, that turned violent.
Ms. Seamon and other Kinderhook residents have been part of group working to restore the cemetery. Last year they unveiled a sign at the site that explains its history.
She said she’s noticed people stopping at a sign outside the park noting the Historic Place designation and that more people are visiting the cemetery.
Kinderhook Village historian Ruth Piwonka says more than 500 people may have been buried on the plot of land set aside in 1813 by village resident John Rogers in his will. Mr. Rogers’ will read that part of his land should be used “for a cemetery for the people of colour in… Kinderhook to use for that purpose and none other.”