Cemetery Association In Need Of Donations
GERRY – As the Gerry Cemetery nears its 200th year in existence, association president Jerry House emphasized the need for donations during its fund drive that is currently in progress as expenses are rising.
House added that many people do not realize that if a cemetery cannot survive financially, state law requires that the town in which it is located must take over and provide only minimal maintenance.
Thanks to the generosity of friends and families, the Gerry Cemetery, which saw its first burial in 1822, has not only been kept in excellent condition, but the association has been able to make a number of improvements such as improved roads and a new maintenance building, as well as adding an additional three acres of prime adjacent land for expansion.
At the present time, the cemetery contains the graves of nearly 1,800 people with approximately 350 sites remaining. The nearly acquired land will provide space for approximately 1,500 more graves, a number which should be adequate for at least another century.
Among those resting here are nearly 100 veterans including one from the War of 1812 and 16 from the Civil War, as well as former residents who have chosen to be brought back to the site of their roots.
House noted that the expenses for maintaining the cemetery include labor for mowing, trimming and grounds upkeep as well as mowing equipment, fuel, insurance, road maintenance, trash removal and monument repair. All officers of the association are volunteers, with the caretaker the only person receiving compensation
In addition to House as president of the association, Nancey Salemme serves as vice president; Recia Myers is the secretary; and Douglas Bedient is the treasurer. The trustees are Paul Cooley, Dennis Bartholomew and Ralph Johnsen.
Those wishing to donate can make a check out to the Gerry Cemetery Association and mail it to PO Box 46, Gerry, NY 14740.
Any persons interested in purchasing burial plots can contact Recia Myers at the Gerry Town Hall at 985-4715 or Jerry House at 640-1822 for more information.