Researching, collecting, preserving and publishing the history of the Haines Family settlers and others in the area of what is now known as northern Greene County, Town of Hunter, Catskill Mountains, New York, commonly referred to as the mountaintop.
The Aaron Haines cemetery had been neglected for many years before Haines Family Association members began its restoration and maintenance.
In addition to fertilizing and mowing, tree stumps were dug out and the east bank cleared. A bulldozer was hired to grade the bank, and HFA members seeded, fertilized and mulched the previously unmowable area. On August 13, 2007 a HFA work party reset head stones and foot stones in the cemetery.
Also on August 13, we located a boundary line for the newly-approved 20’ right-of-way (ROW) granted to the HFA by the Mountain Top Historical Society (MTHS). A new right-of-way was needed because the original is partially blocked and no longer practical to use. On August 22 we located a survey pin representing an important corner of the ROW. On September 6 a surveyor put a pin on the southwest corner of the ROW. On September 14 MTHS President Justine Hommel was authorized to sign the deed granting the ROW to the Haines Family Association. On September 19 the Town of Hunter dumped the first load of fill to be used on the ROW. On September 26 Tony Bucca completed the ROW deed, MTHS President Justine Hommel signed it, and on September 27 it was recorded at the County Clerk’s Office. The ROW continues to be a work in progress, dependent upon volunteer labor, fill, bulldozing, and a new curb cut application, etc.
In 2009, the historic Aaron Haines Cemetery is looking better than ever. The new grass has grown in nicely, and this spring we planted 50 Colorado blue spruce on the west shoulder of the new ROW. The spruce will eventually provide a living fence and will tend to take your eye off the tall building behind them. However, the completion of the ROW to the cemetery has been delayed by the NYS Department of Transportation’s insistence on a new application, fee, insurance, etc., for an entrance curb cut at Route 23A -- more expense and red tape. If we have to pay a contractor to construct the curb cut, it will more than use up whatever funds we presently have in our Cemetery Fund.
Click on a picture below to view it in larger detail.
Update, June 15, 2013: On June 15, the HFA conducted a work party on the cemetery and access road. A year's accumulation of dead branches, leaves and tree limbs were removed, generating enough material to fill the bucket of the front end loader three-plus times. The blue spruce trees lining the access road were top-dressed and rebermed with approximately 18 bucket loads of topsoil. These trees have also been fertilized and pruned this year.
Participants in the June 15th work party: (left to right) Joe McGowan, Lewis Dunham, Michael Andreasen, Randy Dunham, Linda Schultz, and Dick Haines (not in photo).