On September 4, 2015, a brief and unexpected, but powerful, storm blew through Colonie, where our site is located. The historic buildings were unharmed, but the extremely high winds took down a couple of trees in the Shaker cemetery and caused damage to several headstones (a large branch barely missed Mother Ann’s). The damaged stones were broken in various places and a few were crushed under large tree trunks.
The cemetery was established in the late 18th century by the Shakers and was used up until 1938, when Eldress Anna Case died and was the last Shaker to be buried there. The cemetery is currently owned by the Shakers of Sabbathday Lake, Maine, who have an agreement with the Town of Colonie for groundswork.
We are working with Brother Arnold for the headstone repair, but there are several trees that need to be removed near the cemetery that can cause further damage if not taken care of. The cost for this portion of the project is an estimated $7,000. We never like to cut down trees, but this is necessary for the preservation of the historic cemetery where Mother Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, is buried. Along with tree removal, we would also like to install an interpretive sign to accompany the current roadside historic marker and reset the gate. All told, the total cost for this whole project (including the replacement and repair of headstones) will be about $20,000.
All funds raised from our 2016 programs with Tri-City Paranormal Society will go toward the tree removal. Your attendance will help decrease the risk of damage to the cemetery and ensure it’s there for future generations to visit and learn. If you wish to assist in our efforts to preserve the historic site, or learn more about our other projects, please contact Starlyn D’Angelo at (518) 456-7890 x22 or firstname.lastname@example.org.