FORT ANN — A three-year saga that included hours of discussions at Town Board meetings and conflicts between people with essentially the same goal has come to an end as the town has taken possession of the cemetery on a farm on Route 22 in Comstock.
Farm owner Ray Wilson donated the cemetery land to the town, which surveyed it. The town has renamed the site the East Westfield Cemetery, and a local cemetery support group has arranged to place stones on the graves of all veterans buried in the once-abandoned cemetery.
“We have worked really hard to obtain a Veterans Administration marker for every veteran interred in the cemetery that we know about,” said Deb Camarota, who organized Friends of Blossom Farm Cemetery in 2013 and has done much of the legwork to preserve it.
“Each stone had a ton of paperwork and proof that needed to be submitted, and only a direct descendant is able to request a stone,” she added. “We chose granite as being the stone from the Revolutionary War period. We have made many new friends while doing our research, who have also become a part of our group.”
Nancy Moore did the research that allowed the group to prove to the Veterans Administration that Revolutionary War and other veterans were buried there.
Even though the Blossom Farm group is no longer involved in the care of the cemetery, Camarota said it remains active.
“We are still selling cookbooks and memorial bricks and we still have quite a bit of money in the account,” she said. “We are hoping to make some kind of contribution to the restoration of the cemetery. They are ‘our’ family and we want to see this until the end of the journey when they can rest in peace.”
Camarota and Moore recently attended a cemetery committee meeting with board member Floyd Varney.
“We made great progress in the ‘going forward decisions’ for the cemetery,” Camarota said. “We agreed that a flagpole with solar light be installed with the memorial bricks to be laid below the flagpole. We also discussed that we need a sign out front.”
Those two projects will cost about $3,000, which cannot come out of the town budget, she said.
“We currently have about $1,500 in our fund to support the projects,” she said.
Controversy in past
At times, the work of the Blossom Farm group caused conflicts with the Town Board and other historic groups in town.
Eventually, though, it led to the town stepping up and planning cleanup projects at several historic cemeteries in town.
Board member Dennis Fletcher has been one of the main forces behind those projects.
Camarota also credited first-year Supervisor Richard Moore with helping deal with the situation.
“He’s been really good to work with,” she said.