Letchworth Village Cemetery

Letchworth Village Cemetery

After we explored a few buildings in Letchworth Village, we decided to call it quits despite barely making a dent because 1. we saw a cop, 2. I was getting hangry and 3. we needed to get our Zip Car back to the city by 9pm. We still had a bit of time before it was absolutely necessary that we start heading back, however, and I'm always angling to squeeze one last thing into a day spent exploring.

To remedy the hangry issue, we stopped at Hoyer's, a circa-1933 ice cream stand in the nearby town of Haverstraw. I used a $10 bill I found in one of the buildings (I'm still pumped about that find) to buy us soft serve and a root beer float which was exactly what we needed after creeping around for hours in hot, humid and probably asbestos-laden buildings. After Hoyer's, I suggested that we make just one more stop—technically on the way home!—and try our luck at finding the Letchworth Village Cemetery.

When I had initially googled "Letchworth Village," one of the auto-fill suggestions was "Letchworth Village Cemetery" and I I knew that finding it could be the cherry on top of an already perfect day. I'm eternally frustrated by the lack of location information available online sometimes—maybe I'm just a greedy millennial, but I feel that locations that are open to the public and amenable to visitors should not be so hard to pinpoint on a map.

The closest directions I could find were "drive down Call Hollow Road until you come to a path in the woods," which is what we ended up doing. Thankfully there's a bright blue sign for the cemetery and Call Hollow isn't a long road but I still took the time to figure out as close to the exact location as I could in hopes that it might help someone else one day be less frustrated that I was—405 Call Hollow Road, Stony Point, NY 10980 should get you there.

There's a small gravel clearing near the sign where you can park, and the cemetery is just a short walk through the path into the woods. This particular cemetery was used from 1914-1967 and while it contains a handful of traditional tombstones, most of the graves are marked with a simple, numbered metal marker. Names weren't used to assure the anonymity of the patients (or, in a lot of cases, their families), although a plaque has recently been added to include the names of those interred here—still not matched to their numbers but under the heading "Those Who Shall Not Be Forgotten."

This was a cemetery unlike any I have visited before, which is a distinction I keep thinking I'll no longer be able to make—until I come across yet another unique way to handle a burial space. Seeing rows and rows of graves marked with nothing but a number is sad in a way that traditional cemeteries usually aren't and even the graves marked with tombstones are sobering when you realize that people didn't seem to live long lives at Letchworth.

Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach

Project 365: Days 197-203

Project 365: Days 197-203