Lake View Cemetery

A History 

      At the time of the earliest settlers in this area there was only one township, Ovid. As more people moved to the area Ovid was divided into three townships, Ovid, the northern half of the original 100 military lots; Lodi, the southwest quarter; and Covert, the Southeastern quarter. From those earliest times in 1797 until 1845 many of the burials were in family cemeteries in a corner of a farm field or on knolls or along Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. There were also several church cemeteries, including McNeil's cemetery on the Ovid Gospel Lot[ the Baptist Church of Farmer burying ground, (first burial noted as 1824) and the Reformed Dutch Church of Farmer burying ground (first burial noted as 1831).

      On April 27th 1847 the New York State Legislator passed a law providing for the incorporation of Rural Cemetery Associations by lot owners. "At a meeting of the citizens of Farmerville and its vicinity in the County of Seneca and State of New York held at the House of Stephen Wilkins in Farmerville on the 31st day of May 1847... adjourned to meet on the 4th day of June 1847...” There were ten prominent local citizens at the June 4th meeting where, “On motion Resolved that we form an association to be called and known by the name of the Farmerville Rural Cemetery Association.]” Ten days later the Trustees of the Association voted to purchase one and a half acres of land from William Rappleye near the Baptist.[

      By similar action, a second group, mainly from the Reformed Dutch Church, formed the North Cemetery Association and purchased land from Abram Ditmars. Many of the earlier burials from the Dutch Reformed church burying ground were relocated to the new grounds which were on the road north of the village connecting the main Ithaca to Geneva “turnpike” with the lake shore area known as Morehouse landing.

      On 23 June 1849 the North Cemetery Association of Farmerville purchased an additional portion of lot 34 from Abram Ditmars, thereby doubling the size of their cemetery. These first two purchases form much of the area of Lake View Cemetery along the front fence.

      “At a meeting of the officers of the North and South Cemetery Associations of Farmerville at the Consistory Room of the R D Church, Nov 26, 1860. . . Resolved, the south purchase two acres more land & pay for the same, adjoining the North, on the west & north of the same. Individuals owning lots in the south may take as many in said purchase of same size . . . Resolved that we will purchase 2 to 2 ½ acres more land than the above named if the people of this vicinity will subscribe a sufficient amount to pay the same.”[vi]

      On July 1st 1861 at the Reformed Dutch Church, “Resolved that we form an association to be called & known by the name of the “Farmerville Union Cemetery”[vii] The Trustees elected at that meeting were John Booram (Pres), Isaac Covert, Ira Almy (VP, Superintendent & Sexton), John P. Rappylee, for one year terms; Abram Ditmars, James C Knight (Treas), Caleb H. Parshall, Jacob D. Wintersteen (Secty), for two year terms and Bennett E. Bassett, Ansel Rappylee, Lockwood Hinman, John C. Hall for three year terms. The officers were John Booram (Pres), Ira Almy (VP, Superintendent  & Sexton), James C. Knight (Treas), and Jacob D. Wintersteen (Secty).

      In August 1861 a set of By-Laws were adopted and the price of interment “not to exceed three dollars ($3) which amount is to pay for digging & filling graves & supplying plank for the same...”[viii]

      On December 2nd 1861, the Trustees of the Farmerville Rural Cemetery Association sold the original 1.5 acres from the South Cemetery Association, lot 50, back to William Rappleye. [ix]

      At the March 1865 Annual meeting it was resolved that the Association purchase an additional five acres from Abram Ditmars.This purchase occurred on February 12, 1866.This purchase defined the maximum size of Lake View Cemetery until 1994.

      After three successive ballots, at the annual meeting for the years 1874, 1875, and March 8th 1876, the name of the cemetery was changed to Lake View Cemetery Association.]A final name change was made in May 1908 whereby the Association would be known as the Lake View Cemetery Association of Interlaken, New York.

Lake View Cemetery

The Facilities 

      The first burials at Lake View Cemetery were family and community affairs. The family bought the lot, and cared for it during the year. There was a Sexton, but his main responsibility was for the location of lots and digging of graves. Over the years, and even as early as 1874 the trustee had to take up the need for keeping the cemetery looking its best. Trees were cut, bushes pruned, stones straightened and the lawns mowed. The trustees had met at the cemetery ground in 1861 for a working discussion of where to place the main entrance, and the necessary driving paths. As you walk through the cemetery today there are many of these “avenues” still visible either through the location of shrubs which boarder the lots, or the location of corner stones and the absence of grave stones between two sets.

      One of the concerns noted in the early minutes of the Association and the Trustees was the recording of the sale of lots. And several times it was noted that a new map had been drawn, lot lines adjusted and the approved map placed on file in the county clerk’s office. Many of the lots along the front fence line are 11 feet wide (East to West) and 15 to 20 feet deep (North to South). As the area on the North side of the upper road was laid out the sections were marked in 16 by 20 foot lots with a path running North to South after two rows of lots. Two books remain that detail the lot sales over the years. One dates from approximately 1876 as the pages are headed “Lake View Cemetery” on the left page and “Farmer Village, N. Y.” on the right page. The earlier lot purchases were copied into this book which was used until about 1910. The second and larger book contains a copy of the previous recordings along with lot sales up to the Spring of 1976.

      A new fence along the south side was purchased in 1907 for $400.

      At the Annual meeting on March 4, 1907, “A verbal report of P.W. Rappleye, Superintendent, was given, suggesting the need of a receiving vault and a well.”[In April 1913 a committee was appointed to look into the costs and feasibility of building a vault; in July 1914 the matter was still in committee. The vault was built prior to the Annual meeting of March 1915 at which time the treasurer noted money received for the vault $203.58; paid to Thomas Briggs for vault $903.25 and to HP Minor for Vault Doors $85.00.

      On “July 21, 1920 a Special meeting of the board of trustees [was] held . . . The object of the meeting is in regard to the erection of a Soldiers Monument in memory of the Late Madison Covert who in his will left Lake View Cemetery association one thousand dollars for soldiers monument and three thousand dollars for Chapple (sic).” January 1923 the Trustees met to discuss the building of the chapel and on November 26, 1923 they met in the new Chapple (sic). The annual meeting of 1924 notes that $3,000 was paid to Briggs & Kennedy for Chapel, $11 for a stove and $44.98 for chairs.

      The ordering of the monument for the soldier’s memorial caused one of the few noted rifts in the ranks of the trustees. Two meetings, days apart and two separate votes were taken to determine which memorial company should get the order. On September 24, 1920 the vote was 5 for the Ithaca company and 4 for Elmira. On the 29th of September a second vote was taken, again, 4 votes for the Elmira Company and 6 for the Raymond Hoare Company. The committee was instructed to purchase a monument of Mr. Hoare, whereupon the committee resigned and a new committee was appointed to carry out the vote.

Many people have cared for the cemetery grounds over the years and to them we are all grateful for their time and labors. To mention any would be hazardous as no doubt someone would be left from the list

Lake View Cemetery

The Association, A Corporation

      The board of Trustees is elected by and from the lot owners as provided by the 1847 act incorporating Rural Cemeteries.  In 1847 there were nine Trustees; this was later raised to twelve. At one time it was suggested that six would be sufficient, but that item was voted down. Trustees are elected for a three year term, unless filling a vacancy, with four trustees being elected each year. Over the years the roll call has been answered by many prominent men and women of the community, and generations of families have succeeded each other. The 2006-2007 Board of Trustees includes: Richard Bassette, Mark Beardsley, Paul Brown, James Close, Paul Ditmars, Sally Hubbard, Gary Hunt, Diane Bassette Nelson, Charles Pell,  Mike Westervelt and Yvonne Williams. The board annually elects officers, originally four: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. In recent years, the positions of Secretary and Treasurer have been combined into one office. The 2009-2010 officers are: Mark Beardsley, President; Richard Bassette, Vice President and Diane Bassette Nelson, Secretary-Treasurer.










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