Tombstone of John P. Lynet and his daughter Henrietta in the Town of Shawangunk Historic Colored Cemetery. Up the road and around the bend from the Mannion Ranch. Eight-thirty, Saturday morning. October 31, 2015.
Sign at the bottom of the steps leading up to the gate in the cemetery fence identifies the cemetery as “historic” but there’s nothing on the sign or anywhere about the place I could find that tells what’s historic about it. From what there is to see, historic is only another word for “No new graves added within living memory.” I'd expect that some important people from local history would be buried in a historic cemetery. No way of telling from a look around. Never mind telling who’s here. Can’t tell how many are here. As you can see there aren’t many tombstones left standing. The one at the top of the rise marks the grave of John P. Lynet, born 1820, died 1900, and his daughter Henrietta, 1848-1908. That’s all it says. John's wife and Henrietta’s mother and other relatives may be here but their graves are unmarked. Google told me something when I got home though. The full name of the cemetery is the Town of Shawangunk Historic Colored Cemetery.
Sign at the bottom of the steps leaves “Colored” out.
Somewhere on the grounds is another sign that says it and lists the names of people whose graves are known to be here. I guess what’s historic is that our town didn’t escape history any more than did any other place in the United States. Even here in the North racism followed people to their graves and historic means REMEMBER THIS. REMEMBER THEM!
Lived here twelve years and I didn’t know this. Lived here twelve years and today was the first time I went in there to look around.
That’s all I have to report, except that I’m impressed with myself for having been able to climb up into the cemetery and hobble about taking pictures and making notes almost like my old pre-spinal stenosis self, and that it was a nice morning and a nice morning in a cemetery even on the day of Halloween is anything but a haunting experience.