POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Most of my readers already know Pound Ridge is the least populous town in Westchester County. There is another aspect to Pound Ridge history that explains where most of the population has gone – our cemeteries.
With the help of Joyce Butterfield of the Pound Ridge Historical Society, I recently visited several places of eternal rest. There are currently 18 local graveyards one can visit with the most well known one being Burial Hill, located on West Lane, just above Westchester Avenue.
This community cemetery has several headstones dating back to the 1700s and is still in use today. The entrance is on West Lane about 100 feet up the hill as you turn off from Westchester Avenue. As you enter, on the right side are several original graves with several in need of repair due to exposure to the elements. Most headstones older than 200 years appear to be covered with lichen.
One of the more famous residents buried here is Jonnah Hoyt, who served as a Captain in the Union Army and who was killed in action at Gettysburg during the Civil War. He is buried alongside his wife Mary and their son Samuel. Nearby is the final resting place of Thomas J. Murphy, who as a Sergeant also serving during the Civil War received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Five Forks in Virginia.
Burial Hill, as with the majority of other cemeteries in Pound Ridge, is maintained by the town and has been designated as a historical landmark.
One of the least visited cemeteries in town is the Scofield-Hoyt family burial ground, located on Upper Shad Road about 1/10th of a mile from Sarles Corners (the intersection with High Ridge Road). This cemetery is very easy to miss and the only way to identify the entrance is the narrow opening in the stone wall. Several smaller markers are located on the right as you walk in and most of the larger and unrecognizable headstones are about 10 yards straight up the hill.
Several times over the past 60 years there have been improvement projects coordinated to repair and reset headstones. One of the biggest problems in all of our local cemeteries is the inability to read inscriptions of names and dates.
Another well-known cemetery in town includes the Abbott-Scofield burial ground located on the west side of Salem Road just north of the intersection with Highview road. Most of the graves here date between 1806 and 1926 and its first interment belonged to Isaac Tyrell (1778-1806).
If you are interested in the history of the several cemeteries in Pound Ridge, check out a book called “Cemeteries of Westchester” written by Patrick Raftery of the Westchester County Historical Society. But the best source for information on the town’s cemeteries is Joyce Butterfield.
The Pound Ridge Historical Society is located at 255 Westchester Ave. and the phone number is (914) 764-4333.
Laurance Baschkin is a resident of Pound Ridge.