The Patterson Historic District 2

Maple Ave. Cemetery (And Combined Church Cemeteries)

At the close of the Revolution, in 1782, when all the lands of Beverly Robinson were seized by the State Legislature and sold at auction, a half acre parcel on the road from New England to the Hudson in the Town of Fredricksburg was reserved for the Episcopal Church and a burying ground. A portion of this piece of land was the start of the combined cemeteries which are here today. The earliest recorded grave here is that of Thomas Flemming who died in 1792.

In 1803, a committee from Christ Church was appointed to confer with the Presbyterian Society about the burying ground which that Congregation had located eight years earlier, along with their new meetinghouse, on adjoining land. Revolutionary War veterans, including Colonel Henry Ludington (who died in 1817), his daughter Sybil and other early members of both congregations are buried in the combined churchyards. Some, like the Rev. David Close who died in 1783 and was originally buried in the "Old Meeting House" cemetery (north of the Triangle Inn corner - the present intersection of NYS Routes 292 and 311) were relocated here. The rear portion of "The Old Presbyterian Cemetery" did not come into general use until 1840, after the demolition of 1795 Meeting House and the construction of the present Presbyterian Church building in 1838.

As the Church Cemeteries filled up, the Maple Avenue Cemetery Association was formed. In 1863 the trustees bought land along Maple Avenue just north of and adjacent to them. In April, 1898, the Cemetery Association voted to enlarge the Cemetery by buying the Paterson property adjoining the Cemetery. The Association's board at the time included Charles Denton of Brewster, and Patterson businessmen and merchants Charles Judd (President), Charles Akin (Vice President), E. K. Hayt (Secretary), J. L. Irish (Treasurer), Guy C. Birch, Frank Adams, and O. W. Sloat. The land purchase cost $4,000.

The first sections were divided into family plots and include some civil war graves. The names on the stones in these plots have a familiar ring to them, occurring often in street and place names within the Town, in the records of the churches and organizations, and on the War Monument at the corner of Maple Avenue. Since the initial portions of this cemetery were laid out, additional development has continued to the east and the north.

One of the best views of the Patterson Historic District can be seen from east of the Maple Avenue gate looking south over the original Church lands. The scale and feeling of serenity suggests how this part of Patterson might have looked 100 years ago.

The Maple Avenue Cemetery.

Among those buried in the Maple Avenue Cemetery:

Rev. Epinetus P. Benedict was pastor of the Presbyterian Church from 1827-1867. The present church building was erected during this period. He died in 1870 at the age of 74 years.

Rev. David Close was pastor of the Presbyterian Church from 1768-1778. He died in 1783 and was first buried next to the original Presbyterian meeting house, which was located at what is now the intersection of NYS Routes 311 and 292. His body was reburied in the Maple Avenue Cemetery in 1833.

Samuel Cornwall, vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church when it was incorporated in 1797, died in 1801 at the age of 42. Cornwall Hill Road is named for his family.

Andrew Fraser, James Grant, and John McLean were three of the many Scottish officers who fought in the French and Indian Wars and later settled in the Fredericksburg vicinity. James Grant died in 1836 at the age of 76. John McLean died in 1819 at the age of 94.

Charles Irish was an Elder of the Presbyterian Church and donated its pipe organ. The former Patterson Library building on South Street was the former home of Charles Irish.

Matthew Paterson, after whom the town is named, died in February 1817 at age 85. Paterson was a native of Scotland and was an officer in the French and Indian War. He came to Fredericksburg in 1770 where he became a prominent citizen, serving as justice of the peace and as a member of the Assembly for Dutchess County from 1782 to 1789. He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church.

Darius Stone, one of two wardens of Christ Church elected in 1797 when the church was incorporated, died in 1819 at the age of 70. His brother Elijah (died 1812), was the first clerk.

Edmond Ogden, attorney and husband of Sybil Ludington, died 1799.

Various members of the Akins family. The Akins lived in the vicinity of NYS Routes 22 and 311 ("Akin's Corners"), and owned a store and tin shop in the village of Patterson.

Various members of the Judd family. Charles Judd owned a store in West Patterson, and moved his business - and building - to Railroad Street (Front Street) in 1902. The building still stands on Front Street.

The War Memorial

Patterson was still a quiet country town at the beginning of the First World War. Although the state had begun to assume responsibility for the major roads through the area, three way intersections like this one, with triangular islands in the middle, were still common. They were more typical of wide turning horse drawn wagons than automobiles. There was electric power in town and some people had telephones, but in many ways Patterson was a typical American small town, isolated from the outside world and especially from the passions and politics of Europe.

It is difficult for us to imagine the impact which the experience of the First World War had on the lives of the men whose names are listed on the south face of this Monument and on the lives of their friends and families. Many had left home for the first time to fight in the largest conflict the world had yet seen. Three of them did not return. This Monument was erected to all who served and it continues to be the focus of Parades and Memorial Day Ceremonies to this day.

The War Memorial at Maple Avenue and NYS Route 311. A Memorial Day observance in 1961. Putnam County Judge Dickinson was the guest speaker. The American Legion sponsored a parade. Marchers included the members of the Legion, members of the Putnam Lake V.F.W. Post, an honor guard and float from Putnam Lake, and a special appearance by Miss Patterson. The parade started at the Patterson School, and ended at the Monument. Wilbur Smith was chairman. Dominick Bellucci was commander of the Post. The photo appeared in the June 1, 1961 edition of the Putnam County Courier.
The World War I plaque on the south wall, and the World War II plaque on the north wall.

The American Legion was formed in Paris in 1919 immediately after the end of the war. They adopted a constitution at their convention in St. Louis the same year which stated, among other things, that part of The Legion's purpose was to "consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness". It is largely through the volunteer efforts, of individual members of the Patterson Post of the Legion, that this monument and the ground around it have been maintained.

A bronze tablet bearing the names of the individuals from Town who fought in the Second World War was relocated from the former Legion Hall to the north face of the Monument. A small bronze plaque commemorating veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars was added by the American Legion in the 1960s.

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