The Wyckoff-Snedicker Woodhaven Founders Cemetery is located on 96th Street and 86th Avenue behind All Saints Church. The cemetery was subject to long periods of neglect for over 80 years and looked to be doomed when the church was shut down (as St. Matt's) a few years back. But when the church reopened as All Saints, the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society and Fr. Norman Whitmire of All Saints got together -- and with the help of volunteers and huge help from the St. Thomas the Apostle Woodhaven History Club, the cemetery's fortunes began to turn around.
The restoration of the cemetery continues THIS SATURDAY, June 11th, from 9am to 12pm - volunteers are welcomed and needed. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 718-805-2002.
There are many reasons to get involved in this project. If you like local history, it's loaded with it. If you like getting fresh air and exercise, you'll get plenty of both! If you like the idea of creating a community green space a few steps away from Jamaica Avenue, that's our plan. And if you'd like to meet some of your friends and neighbors, people who are committed to making our community a better place, you'll meet them. But here's the best reason to come out to one of our cleanups - it's just the right thing to do.
Let us introduce you to some of the people who are buried right here in Woodhaven. Below, you'll see the marker for John Lott, son of Hendrick and Sarah Lott. John died in 1793 -- 223 years ago. He was 13 months and 20 days old.
Below, is the final resting place of Jane Ann Hegeman, daughter of Abraham and Ann. She died 201 years ago. Jane Ann was 1 year, 3 months and 20 days old.
These are just 2 of the many infants that are buried in our cemetery right here in Woodhaven. Life was harsh 200+ years ago - people died young, and many infants never had the chance to grow up into adulthood. Each one of these stones not only represent the final resting place of a person - it marks the spot where people stood and wept on one of the worst days of their lives. Where couples and families came together and cried over the young lives that were ended much too soon.
We clean this cemetery and work towards restoring it for all of the reasons listed above - but also because it's just the decent thing to do. We've made tremendous progress, as you can see below -- turning the land from an eyesore, to an eye-opener.
The project has been a great success thus far, and has won several awards, Below, the students of St. Thomas the Apostle's Woodhaven History Club proudly show off an award from the Victorian Society of New York. The project has also been given an award from the Citizens Committee for New York City.
These grants and awards will certainly help - but we are asking for your support on Friday, June 24th from 6pm to 8:30pm as we hold a party at the Forest Park Carousel to help raise funds for the restoration. For $10, you get unlimited rides on the carousel and the new train ride -- the Woodhaven Express -- and there will be a magic show and plenty of cool raffle prizes (for kids and for adults!)
All proceeds from the party will go directly to the restoration and maintenance of the Woodhaven Cemetery. We're currently in the process of tilling the land -- removing rocks and roots and stumps -- in hopes that soon the rougher parts of the land will be able to be mowed.
It's a worthy project - and a lot of fun to be a part of it. We hope that if you've read this far you'll come out this Saturday to be a part of it - or consider coming to the Forest Park Carousel on the evening of Friday June 24th -- or both!!