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Pound Ridge Historical Society Begins New Season

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Historical Society held its annual meeting Sunday afternoon, kicking off the celebration of a new season that culminated in a tour of Burial Hill Cemetery and the opening of a new exhibit at the Pound Ridge Museum.

Society President Joyce Butterfield led the meeting that saw the installation of a new slate of officers plus the awarding of two scholarships to Fox Lane High School students. The scholarship winners were Jacqueline Tenreiro and Adam D’Agostino, who were honored for demonstrating excellence in history and social studies.

The Society’s slate of officers for 2012-13 includes trustees Timi Parsons, Matthew Bromley, Mary Miranda and Xenia D’Ambrosi. The corresponding secretary is Ruth Mendes and Butterfield was elected president.

After the meeting, members of the Historical Society and the public headed to Burial Hill Cemetery where Pound Ridge Museum guest curator Patrick Raftery led a tour of the historic burial ground.

“This cemetery was built in three different phases,” Raftery told the crowd. “Section 1 was used as early as 1760. The Presbyterian Church might have had title to this area. It stayed that way for about 160 years until there was no more space.”

Raftery explained what the various tombstones and grave markers were constructed of and what they represented. He said in the 18th century, many markers often contained just initials.

“Back then, in a small town everyone knew each other, so initials were enough,” he said. “Of course, now we don’t know who they are, so we have many anonymous graves.”

However, Burial Hill is noted as the final resting place for many Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans, as well as renowned Pound Ridge families such as the Lockwoods, Hoyts and Sanders.

Raftery said that in 1922, Dr. Ezra Todd donated what became Section 2 of the cemetery. The first burial in Section 3 took place in 1996.

After the tour of Burial Hill, the next stop was the Pound Ridge Museum to officially open the new exhibit, “The Cemeteries of Pound Ridge,” which was curated by Raftery –  the librarian and manager of the Westchester County Historical Society and co-editor of the WCHS award-winning journal, The Westchester Historian .  He has also published extensively on the history of Westchester with a focus on revolutionary war sites and historical cemeteries. In addition, he has published a three-volume work on the cemeteries of Westchester County.

The museum is open Saturday through Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 2. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

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