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 Layman Burying Ground is a work in progress, another cemetery that was hidden in the woods for scores of years, which we rescued and are slowly restoring.
Fallen monuments were beautifully restored, repaired & re-erected in 2007 by a HFA work party, led by Bill Haines. Work on our right-of-way access proved to be extremely labor intensive, involving use of a backhoe to dig out tree stumps.
HFA members Sal and Carol Centamore began clearing and cleaning up the cemetery in spring of 2008. Then, on June 12, our HFA work party spent five hours enlarging the improved area and clearing more of the access right-of-way by cutting down obstructing trees, digging out stumps, and beginning to grade the right-of-way with a backhoe. It’s difficult to build a road through the woods with modern machinery; imagine what it was like for our ancestors, who did it by hand or with the aid of animals, and had to remove even bigger trees and stumps!
When raking leaves in the area of the three headstones that we repaired in 2007, two more stone monuments were located in line with the original three, for a total of six now, including a very small headstone some distance from the others. The two newly-discovered stones are plain bluestone about a foot wide and four inches high with no inscriptions on them.
In 2009, the historic Layman Burying Ground is in good shape. The right of way is awaiting a load of fill and more work with the backhoe/front end loader. The cemetery is accessible, but you have to walk to it from the road in Haines Falls.
The photos below show some of the headstones, as well as trees marked for cutting and stumps ready for removal in the right-of-way area. Click on any photo to enlarge it and read more about it. Updated photos of our progress will be published as soon as they become available.