Monday, May 27, 2013

A Memorial Day Initiative

May 27, Memorial Day 2013, was the sesquicentennial of the death in battle of Colonel David S. Cowles, whose grave is the centerpiece of the burial ground in the Hudson City Cemetery dedicated to the men of Hudson who died in the Civil War. It is a compelling coincidence, particularly since the origins of Memorial Day--first called Decoration Day--go back to a time, immediately after the Civil War, when people observed the day by placing flowers on the graves of soldiers who died in the deadliest war in American history. It is also a persuasive moment to announce, as Common Council president Don Moore did this morning, an initiative to do needed repair and restoration to the Grand Army of the Republic plot in our historic cemetery.

The plan begins with an existing conditions assessment, which has been done pro bono by Ward Hamilton of Olde Mohawk Historic Preservation, with the help of research from Pat Fenoff, city historian, and advice from Vince Wallace, guardian of the GAR plot since he was a teenager working summers for the Department of Public Works in the 1940s. The document created by Hamilton can be viewed here. Also involved in facilitating and implementing the project are DPW superintendent Rob Perry, First Ward alderman David Marston, and Gossips.

The photograph above was taken on Memorial Day 2012. Here are some more historic images of this part of the cemetery.

Engraving from a drawing by F. Carroll Hankes which appeared in the Hudson Daily Evening Register on May 29, 1890

Undated photograph from Historic Hudson's Rowles Studio Collection

Post card in the collection of the Hudson Area Library

Post card circa 1921

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