Hillsdale to mark oldest cemetery

HILLSDALE–The Town Board has allocated $125 to erect a marker at the Old Community Cemetery, also known as Old Orchard Cemetery, on Old Town Road. Funds for the marker, which measures two feet high and six inches wide, are raised from the Historic Homes Tour. Howard VanLenten, a Cemetery Committee member, brought copies of the marker design to the board’s monthly meeting Tuesday, July 10.

The cemetery is credited as Hillsdale’s oldest. The earliest known stone, for Mercy Chase, dates back to 1767. In addition to Chase, six Revolutionary War veterans and possibly Native Americans are buried there. Old Community is the first of 15 historical cemeteries that will get markers.

Town board reports included:

• Board member Robina Ward, Infrastructure, regarding the move of the Roe Jan Food Pantry to the basement in the Sheriff’s Office on Route 23 near the intersection with Route 22. The work remaining includes electrical wiring to accommodate three freezers and one refrigerator and to repair some crumbling concrete steps. Ms. Ward will draft a letter of agreement to present at next month’s board meeting.

The pantry will be offered a 3-year lease and will bear the costs for electricity and liability insurance. The pantry, which serves 50 families a month, plans to open by Labor Day and will operate on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. There will be a “blessing box” for food donations. Pantry organizers Vernetta Moore and Betty White asked that liquid ready baby formula be donated rather than powder formula. The women said that drug dealers take the powder formula and use it to cut cocaine

• Board member Steve Tiger, Human Resources, said that seven people attended a workplace violence prevention workshop at the end of June. Mr. Tiger also reported that the Memorial Day Flea Market netted $1,400. He stressed that there is a great need for volunteers for future flea markets

• Board member Jill Sims-Elster, Parks, encouraged parents with children enrolled in the summer camp program to keep them at home if they feel the weather is too hot for outside activity. There’s “no penalty” for absences. She stressed that plenty of water is available, and the Roe Jan Park barn provides shade, although the structure is not air-conditioned

• Supervisor Peter Cipkowski announced that Charter-Spectrum is hosting an open house on broadband service Thursday, July 26 from 3 to 7 p.m. in Chatham.

The next board meeting is August 14 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

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