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Monday, February 24, 2014

Uncovering graveyards

Forgotten memories of Staten Island

This gorgeous photograph illustrates a NYT story by Edna Ishayik, about a woman whose dedication has restored the cemeteries of Staten Island to history.

Back in 1998, Lynn Rogers set out to find her grandparents' and great-grandparents' graves, and discovered a disgusting dump.  Horrified, she started clearing the site herself, and since then has raised money and received lots of help.  Now she is the caretaker of eleven cemeteries on Staten Island that had fallen into ruin.

As Edna Ishayik says, though Lynn Rogers is proud of her work, she is not concerned that she will receive no praise from those whose stories she has unveiled. After all, they are all dead.

And what stories they are! There are veterans of the Civil War who fought in Scottish regiments, in kilts, and Irishmen and women who had fled the potato famine. And, of course, there are bound to be seafarers, too.

With thanks to Jacqueline Church Simonds

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