History, Hucksters, and a Highway in Brewster

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A Visit to the Old Southeast Church Cemetery in Putnam County, N.Y.

The oldest grave at the Old Southeast Church Cemetery in Brewster, N.Y. dates from 1751. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The oldest grave at the Old Southeast Church Cemetery in Brewster, N.Y. dates from 1751.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

How many times have I stopped for ice cream and miniature golf at the Red Rooster in Brewster, N.Y., or headed just a little further north to Aversano’s, before I notice an old graveyard on Route 22 that is home to Revolutionary War veterans?

The grave of a Revolutionary War soldier at Old Southeast Church Cemetery in Brewster, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The grave of a Revolutionary War soldier at Old Southeast Church Cemetery in Brewster, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Stones are beginning to be erased by time at the Old Southeast Church Cemetery and traffic breezing by on Route 22 intrudes on its peacefulness, but there are still little snippets of history to be found.

A Sons of the American Revolution marker commemorating the contributions of Samuel Bangs Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A Sons of the American Revolution marker commemorating the contributions of Samuel Bangs
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Sons of the American Revolution have placed more contemporary markers by some of the stones. One still legible marker brushes up against a bit of the circus: Members of the Barnum family, relatives of showman Phineas T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey fame, are buried here.

Grave of Captain Azor Barnum, Jr.

Members of the Barnum family are buried at the Old Southeast Church Cemetery in Brewster, N.Y.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

If you happen to be in Putnam County, this place is worth a quick visit if just as a reminder that history still shows up in everyday places.

—Lori Tripoli

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