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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 12, 2012

Hannacroix Rural Cemetery seeks donations
By Melissa Hale-Spencer

WESTERLO — The Hannacroix Rural Cemetery, like many historic country graveyards, is strapped for cash.

“We used to survive on the interest from CDs,” said the cemetery’s clerk-treasurer, Linda Smith, of certificates of deposit. “But now they pay nothing, so we’re hitting the principal.”

The two-acre cemetery on Route 411 in Dormansville has a long history. Soldiers from the Revolutionary War are buried there.

The half-dozen board members are all volunteers. Like Smith, they have family members buried at Hannacroix. Smith’s father is buried there.

“We’re doing our best to keep it nice,” she said.

The fees for mowing come to about $2,500 a year. “That’s the bare minimum,” she said. “We mow it for the big holidays, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Memorial Day.”

Sometimes, she said, board members use their own mowers and pay for the gas themselves.

New burials are still occurring at Hannacroix. “We honor people with deeds,” said Smith, adding, “There aren’t many plots left.”

Years ago, she said, families paid dues, which covered the cost of upkeep. Those days are gone. “We don’t have contacts anymore,” said Smith. “Many of the families have left town.”

So the board is appealing to the community at large for donations.

Smith went on, “I don’t know what will happen down the line. My son’s already said, ‘Don’t give it to me.”

Smith stated, “Whether you have a loved one buried there or would just like to give a donation it would be greatly appreciated.” Contributions may be sent to: Hannacroix Rural Cemetery, care of Linda Smith, 115 State Route 143, Westerlo, New York 12193.

Smith concluded, “We do what we can with what we have.”

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