Transcription of Dorothy E. V.K. Smith and Vera V.K. Winne's 1972 or 1973 survey of Laurel Cemetery, West Shokan, Ulster County, New York. I have also heard this cemetery referred to as Laurel Hill Cemetery, and a 1936 article from the Kingston Daily Freeman refers to it as "God's Acre". Apologies for the sparseness of the directions - if I am able to visit that part of New York this year, I will try to provide better directions.
UPDATE - We visited the area again in May 2002 and my mother got some much better photos of most of the stones in this cemetery. The creek was pretty full when we visited and between the high water, the very slippery algae-covered rocks, and my heavy camera bag, I was unable to make the crossing. Mom braved the waters with her point-and-shoot camera and took most of the May 2002 photos on this page. The last time I visited the area in the 1990s, the creek was low enough to jump across or go on stepping stones and I understand from others who have been to the area that this is normally the case.
Clicking a small photo will open a large photo. Clicking a name will open a web page on that individual's family branch.
Conversion to HTML format 2001 by Roxy Triebel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(any notes in parentheses signed "RT 2001" are mine - all others are from the original survey)
(Directions copied from the survey)
Located near Bushkill Cem - turn off road after crossing bridge - down lane by former Herbert Wells property - cross brook and up side of the Mt. - can see the wall of cemetery from brook - enclosed by stone wall - many large Pine trees - copied Oct 18, 197?
(can't make out what last digit was supposed to be - looks like either "2" or "3" - RT 2001)
by Dot Smith and Vera Winne
Click here for Google map. The cemetery is deep in the woods and does not show on the map, but Laurel Hill Lane is clearly visible. The bend in the north end of the road is the turn where the blue truck is parked in the photos below.
The black and white photos date from the 1950s. Some of the color ones in this section were taken in the 1990s. My mother and I recently revisited the cemetery (May 2002) and my mother was able to get better photos of most of the stones.
The beginning of the overgrown road leading to Laurel Cemetery. It is the trail leading into the woods just to the right of the truck. This can be very easy to miss. The dirt road on the left is not a main road - mapquest.com shows it as Laurel Lane or Laurel Rd. - it's a driveway leading to a couple of houses back in the woods.
This is the brook mentioned in the rather sparse directions above. "Up the side of the mountain" is not as far or as hard as it may sound from the directions. The gate in the old stone wall is barely visible just above the arrow in the newer photo on the right (one of the few I was able to take in the area of this cemetery).
The area around the cemetery has grown up in evergreen trees. The density of the trees and the thick carpet of needles they shed block the light and keep other vegetation from taking over the cemetery. There are also some neighbors living nearby who keep the cemetery clear of debris, fallen tree limbs, etc. The two snapshots on the left were taken in October 1990 - I lightened all four of these considerably with the computer to get anything to show up. The two photos on the right were taken by my mother in May 2002.
Most of these entries are from the cemetery survey in the 1970s. I have used the photos of the stones to correct a couple of mistakes in the dates and spellings.
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