Schroon Supervisor Mike Marnell stands outside the Protestant Cemetery, which has been abandoned and is now a town responsibility. About 250 feet of new fence has been erected at the site, leaving 400 feet to go.
continued “Probably everyone in town has a family member or friend buried here,” Marnell said. “Now is the time for us to make their final resting place something to be proud of. It’s our responsibility. There are a lot of veterans in here.”
Once the fence is in place, Marnell said a sidewalk along the front of the cemetery will be installed. Ernie LaBarge of LaBarge Masonry has volunteered his labor for the project.
“The sidewalk will not only be for the cemetery, but will benefit people who walk along Hoffman Road,” Marnell said. “A lot of kids walk along here to get the Little League field at the fish & game club.”
The Protestant Cemetery dates back more than two centuries and is the final resting place for some of Schroon’s most famous residents. Jack Wyrtzen, a founder of Word of Life, is buried in the Protestant Cemetery.
Marnell hopes community members will volunteer to work at the cemetery as well as raise money for it. Interested people can call him at the town hall at 532-7737.
“Once we get this fixed up I don’t believe maintenance will be much of a problem,” Marnell said.
Schroon is also responsible for four other abandoned cemeteries — the Baker Street Cemetery, the South Schroon Cemetery and two unnamed cemeteries located off Hoffman and Youngs roads.
In New York State, about 160 cemeteries have been abandoned since 1990, according to the New York State Association of Cemeteries.