ELLICOTTVILLE – Years of deterioration have affected the monuments and markers at the Jefferson Street Cemetery, which has been undergoing a major renovation under the direction of the Ellicottville Historical Society.
On Friday, Sept. 28, Gail Carucci, project manager for the Jefferson Street Cemetery Restoration & Preservation Project, and Town Historian Mary Elizabeth Dunbar met with a number of contributors and the press to kick off a fundraiser for the cemetery.
Carucci said a group of volunteers began efforts to clean the stones, which were covered with fungal growth, dirt and oxidation, last summer on Aug. 12. After the volunteers finished their cleaning, Crandall’s Memorials, of Olean, came in and deeply cleaned the first three rows, uprighted those which had fallen over and began repair of several broken markers. Now when people drive by, they will notice the cemetery is much brighter because the stones are so much cleaner and whiter. They are continuing their work this year.
This past June, Dr. Lisa Marie Anselmi, Dr. Kevin Williams, nine anthropology students and two teacher assistants from Buffalo State College SUNY came to Ellicottville in hopes of finding unmarked graves in the Jefferson Street Cemetery. They spent two days at the cemetery plotting and using their GPR machine to determine if they could find where the unmarked graves might be located. Although their final report has not been received, initial findings show several areas of unmarked gravesites.
* This is a partial story. The full story can be found on Page A10 of the Oct. 4, 2012 edition of The Salamanca Press and online in the e-edition. *