SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – History is a core component of Saratoga Springs’ being, as reflected in its motto of Health – History – Horses. The restoration of a long-neglected burial ground in the Spa City presents an opportunity to claim a piece of local history, and offer it to the public.
Located on Crescent Avenue is the former Whitford Cemetery, the oldest existing burial site in Saratoga with a first-recorded burial in 1801. In 1869, local lawyer John Eddy formed the South Side Cemetery Association of Saratoga Springs, a not-for-profit that bought the land from the Whitford family and promised it would forever be preserved as a cemetery.
Over 540 have been laid to rest there, including early Saratoga pioneers as well as many military service veterans- five from the Revolutionary War, 13 from the Civil War, one from the Spanish-American War, and three from World War I. Burials ceased in 2002.
Since then, the general maintenance and management of the site have become problematic. The result was a gradual decline of the property into one that appeared abandoned. In 2000, and again in 2021, descendants and other interested individuals reorganized the non-profit cemetery association, with the intent of cleaning up the cemetery and restoring its original glory.
Association trustees have put together a multi-step plan that will help them accomplish that mission. Part one of that plan, the initial clean-out, has been accomplished. Now, the organization is fundraising to complete part two: the purchase and installation of required property fencing.
To help restore the property, the association has put together a GoFundMe page. Any amount donated will go directly to the association, for part two of their plan- and the association promises, it will not stop until the cemetery is fully revived.