|St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery, New Berlin, NY|
Spending an afternoon in a cemetery? Now who in their right mind would want to do that? Well, me, for one. I love to spend a day in a cemetery. So one day in August, my friend took me for a ride and I never know where we will end up. It just so happened we were in New Berlin (NY) which is not that far from where I live. Yet I had never explored it before. This particular day we had lunch and then was driving up the street and we spotted this awesome church. Not only was the church beautiful, but the cemetery surrounding it was enormous. It was St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery on Main Street. As far as I could see, there were gravestones. I can't imagine how you would find someone you were looking for without some help from the office.
The small town of New Berlin is six miles from Norwich, NY, which is the county seat. It was formed from Norwich in 1807. The name was changed to Lancaster in 1820 and changed back the following the year to New Berlin. It is on the Unadilla River. The land this small town is built upon is rich in native American history. It is a pleasant town and most people drive through it on their way to another place. If you stop and browse a bit, you will find a historical treasure. The gem I found was St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery. It was the first Episcopal church in Chenango County, NY.
St. Andrew's was organized in 1814 by Reverend Daniel Nash, the first pastor. It was consecrated by Bishop Hobart in 1816. The original church building was torn down in 1847 and the church that stands today, was then built of stone in the Gothic style of architecture and was then consecrated by Reverend Andrew Hull. The cemetery is owned and cared for by St. Andrew's.
The day we were here was a beautiful summer day and we spent some time driving through the cemetery. The grounds were vast and covered in gravestones as far as I could see. There were many old graves with some that were difficult to read. And others that were old, but so well marked that were as easy to read as if they were put in recently.
I hope to go back there one day and take photos of some of the more unusual grave stones and monuments. They really are a work of art in some cases. The Victorian era, 1837-1901 was a time of elaborate tombstones and headstones and cemeteries evolved into a park like existence. Loved ones had started adding more to the headstones to leave a bit of information about the deceased. Some adding the sculptured designs which included their religious beliefs, their occupation, social class or other such notes. The Colonial era, was just the opposite fearing the afterlife.
This is one of my favorite ways to spend a nice day. Though most of the cemeteries I like to visit are ones that have my own ancestors buried in. Having worked on my family tree for more than a few years now, I like to go to their graves and visit them in person and take my own photos. I have not found any of my family members in this cemetery as of yet, but who knows what or who I may discover in the future?
Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole