Aug 05

New sign to be installed in the spring:

Colonie Historic Resource Marker constructed by the Catskill Casting Company of N.Y.

Update after restoration completed:

Fonda Cemetery in Colonie A

Fonda Cemetery after restoration - Graves from 1814 to 1863

Franklin, Kevin wrote: (Oct 25, 2009)
Latham Scout Troop 279 has finished (with exception of seeding) the restoration of the Fonda-Lansing Cemetery on Rt. 9 in Colonie.  This was an extensive project taking up every weekend with the exception of one beginning in the last week of August and finishing up on October 18th.   The information I received is that this cemetery was originally located a short distance north of this spot in what is now the curb lane of Rt. 9 north across from Crescent Terrace Road.  When the State of New York widened Rt. 9 back in the 1930’s (probably as a W.P.A. project) the cemetery was moved to its present location and was originally surrounded by triangular shaped concrete posts reinforced with steel rod, commonly seen along the nation’s highways prior to 1950 when they were gradually replaced with wire, and later steel guiderails.
At some point in time during the early 1980’s a wooden ranch type fence replaced the deteriorated concrete posts.  This old wooden fence, along with several unwanted trees and brush were removed and a high spot consisting of plowed stones and dirt from snow removal of an adjacent property was cut down by the State D.O.T.   Some of the largest and oldest gravestones from this site were found to be broken into three pieces when excavated from the ground with the total gravestone measuring in excess of six feet long.  These were repaired to the best of our ability and re-set into their original positions as found.

Fonda Cemetery in Colonie B

Fonda Cemetery in Colonie - Rt. 9 at Crescent Terrace Rd

We located pieces of two gravestones broken into many pieces with still many more missing (possibly from the first cemetery move of the 1930’s) and we were not able to put these together.
The new fence is constructed of pressure treated lumber and stained white.   A large piece of blue stone found on the property was used as a threshold at the entrance to the cemetery itself.  I am in the process of ordering a historic marker sign for this site.  The Town of Colonie Historical Society, and Colonie Youth Court will do what we can with our limited finances and time to keep this site presentable.  I appreciate your interest and placing the photos on the Fonda family blog site.  I’ll send you additional photos in another e-mail minus text.
Kindest Regards, Kevin Franklin – Historian, Town of Colonie

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Kevin, Thanks very much for the update.  From the latest photos and from what I saw a couple months ago, the cemetery restoration looks wonderful.  The Latham Scout Troup is to be commended for a great job on this restoration project.  I also appreciate your personal involvement in organizing and communicating on the project execution.
On behalf of the extended Fonda Family, the effort is truly appreciated and I’m sure the souls of those interred at the site are eternally grateful.  I also commend The Town of Colonie Historical Society and Colonie Youth Court for organizing an on-going upkeep effort.  The historical marker will be a nice finishing touch.
I will also keep track of the site from my standpoint as the Fonda Family historian and genealogist.  I’ll update the posting on the Fonda Blog which will include the latest photos and these notes.
Let me know if any further information comes to light regarding the inscriptions.  You mentioned some of the stones were broken into too many pieces to be repaired… I assume these were placed within the graveyard somewhere?  Best Regards, Mark

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Mark: Yes, the broken stones will not be discarded, but placed in a corner of the cemetery.  Thanks for putting the photos and info on the Fonda Family Blog.  I intend to do a newsletter in the near future covering the Fonda family history here in Colonie and the restoration of the cemetery site.  Please look me up the next time you visit from the west coast.
Thanks, Kevin Franklin Cc: Paula Mahan, Supervisor, Town Board, Bebe Morehead, President Colonie Historical Soceity, Violet Colydas, Colonie Youth Court, Brian Burkhard, Latham Scout Troop 279

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Kevin – I was back east last month and actually had a chance to stop by this cemetery.  There was much work still to be done, but I was pleased with the progress.  Maybe by now, work is nearly complete?
In the meantime, I have tried to assemble a list of the gravestones and match them to the genealogy information I have.  I put up a listing on Find-A-Grave.com for the cemetery here.  I show 11 interments, although I know there are a few more which haven’t yet been identified.  I attached the headstone and footstone images which appear to match to each memorial listing… you may want to cross-check with your records.
This is a list of the names and links, matched up to the numbering provided on the listing by R. Arthur Johnson:

West Row Headstone Inscription Footstone Inscription Findagrave Rootsweb
35 Stub Only 16
34 Missing 15 AMF
33 Henry Fonda 14 HF Findagrave Rootsweb
32 Susannah, wife of Isaac H. Fonda 13 Findagrave Rootsweb
31 Stub Only – probably Isaac H. Fonda 12 IHF Findagrave Rootsweb
30 CEB or IFVsV 11
29 Abraham A. Lansing 10 AAL Findagrave Rootsweb
28 Ann Fonda, wife of AALansing 9 AF Findagrave Rootsweb
East Row 20 Catherine, wife of Isaac C. 1 CF Findagrave Rootsweb
21 Abb-, wife of Isaac C. 2 AF Findagrave Rootsweb
22 Isaac C. Fonda 3 ICF Findagrave Rootsweb
23 Cornelius I. Fonda 4 CIF Findagrave Rootsweb
24 Missing – fragment – child? 5
25 Missing – probably Cornelia Lansing Fonda 6 Findagrave Rootsweb
26 Cornelius C. Fonda 7 CCF Findagrave Rootsweb
27 Missing – may be children 8 AF, AAF
Notable missing: Catharina V. Fonda (VanSantvoord), daughter of Isaac H. and Susannah Rootsweb
Cornelius VanSantvoord, husband of Catharina V. Fonda Rootsweb
Cornelia VanSantvoord (Fonda), wife of Cornelis C. Fonda Rootsweb
Cornelia L. Fonda (VanSantvoord), daughter of Cornelius I. And Cornelia Rootsweb
Henry Staats VanSantvoord, husband of Cornelia L. Fonda Rootsweb

The VSV initials are probably for Van Santvoord, whom several of the Fonda’s married in the later generations.  More research is needed to sort out who CEB and IFVSV are.  I will look into my sources as time permits.

Mark

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Early stages of restoration project by the Historical Society of Colonie.  Cemetery Plot in outskirts of Colonie (near Albany). View Map

Dear Mark: Thanks for the information. The Fonda family spirits must be watching us, or prompted you to contact me. I will be restoring the old Fonda Family Cemetery located here in Colonie on Rt. 9 beginning in early August. This cemetery site was documented back in 1977 by the late R. Arthur Johnson, whose photos of some of the oldest gravestones in this cemetery I’ve attached here for you. They were probably made and crudely chiseled using local stones. The site was cleared of brush and restored by local boy scouts many years ago, but it’s in need of another refurbishment.
Do you live near the Colonie area? Have you seen this cemetery site? I would be happy to send you other information that Mr. Johnson gathered about early Fonda life here in Colonie. I have several other photos of the site taken in the 1970’s plus research from Johnson you could post on your web page. Currently; the site has an old split rail fence that kids from Colonie Youth Court (Nationally recognized program, see link) paint and they pull weeds, etc. from the site. But the fence is all rotted and in need of replacement and the area has become overgrown and the stones tilted and some broken.
It is my goal to repair gravestones, replace the fence, do landscaping, including removal of unwanted trees & brush, and to place a historic marker sign at this site which is highly visible along Rt. 9. This will be a collaborative effort between State D.O.T., a local neighbor, the Historical Society of Colonie, this office, and the Latham Boy Scout troop as an Eagle Scout project for one of their Scouts. It will look nice when finished.
Would you be interested in making some kind of a small donation toward restoration of this cemetery? Every dollar would help. If you can’t, that’s understandable too.
Kevin Franklin, Historian – Town of Colonie, N.Y. – 518-782-2593

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