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Town of Niagara to offer 'Save Our Cemeteries' workshops

Fri, May 10th 2024 09:00 am


Cemeteries are dying. What can we do to help preserve our final resting places?

This will be the primary focus of an upcoming workshop, “Save Our Cemeteries,” to be held in the Town of Niagara on Saturday, July 13. Organized as part of 50th anniversary events celebrating the founding of the Western New York Genealogical Society, the “Save Our Cemeteries” program will offer a wide range of presentations and demonstrations toward preserving our cemeteries.

Hosted by WNYGS and Town of Niagara Historian Pete Ames, the event will feature programs at two nearby locations. The first session will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Calvin K. Richards Community Center located at Veterans Park, 7000 Lockport Road near Town Hall.

Included will be presentations on family history research in cemeteries by Michelle Kratts, a Lewiston genealogist/librarian; and discussion on the importance of volunteerism by Lake View Cemetery general manager Hugh Golden and New York State Division of Cemeteries representatives Michael Catena and Cindi Craig.

The morning program will offer coffee and snacks provided by the Helping Hands outreach organization, displays, and other handouts expected by various groups. A lunch will be provided at the center from noon to 1 p.m.

The afternoon session will take place at the Witmer Cemetery, located at Witmer Road and Pennsylvania Avenue. A tour of the historic cemetery will be featured, highlighting the results of recent restoration efforts. Also, a demonstration on the proper methods of cleaning headstones by Cheektowaga historian and cemetery volunteer Maureen Gleason; a discussion on combatting invasive species by Cornell Cooperative representative Nick Cornett; and information on the resetting and repairing of cemetery markers by local masonry expert Gary Strenkoski.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the Western New York Genealogical Society website at https://www.wnygs.org/. Ames said attendance at the program would be capped at 100. He encouraged those interested in attending to register early. For more information, he can be reached at 716-297-4429.

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