MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Mount Kisco Historical Society members Laurie Kimsal and Susan Ross are leading the charge to restore the village's historic St. George's/St. Mark's Cemetery, which played a role in the Revolutionary War.
Named after the two churches that once stood there, the site across from Leonard Park is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The 1-acre parcel is home to about 400 graves dating from 1773 to 1940, some of which bear familiar Mount Kisco names such as Sarles.
At Monday's Village Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Michael Cindrich said he recently met with Kimsal, Ross and Mount Kisco historian Harry McCartney.for a site walk at the cemetery. Some of those buried are veterans from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.
"I walked the cemetery for a while and I have to say, it's quite an undertaking," he said. Some of the graves have fallen over or need to be unearthed, and about 50 to 60 of the stones are broken, having fallen prey to weather or vandalism. Although some only need cleaning with toothbrushes and baking soda, the broken markers need professional repair work.
John Flynn of Mount Kisco's Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home has volunteered to this end. Kimsal and Ross delivered their initial proposal at the Feb. 12 trustees meeting. Cindrich said he then reached out to Flynn, who offered the services of his son-in-law, a restoration expert who has worked on cemeteries in Bedford.
Kimsal and Ross have experience in restoring headstones. They were inspired to take on the project after volunteering with Friends of Bedford Burying Grounds, a cemetery restoration group that attracts a high level of community support.
St. George's Church was built in 1761 and was said to have been used as a soldiers’ hospital in the Battle of White Plains during the Revolutionary War. After St. George’s was torn down, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, which has since moved to 85 E. Main St., was built in its place but eventually demolished in 1917.
Village trustees support the project. "This is great. This is the heart of the village," Trustee Jean Farber said at Monday’s meeting.
The Historical Society has requested a starting budget of $2,500. Other possible sources of funding include federal and state grants, fundraisers and donations.
A local Eagle Scout candidate has expressed an interest in volunteering, Cindrich said. Some local Boy Scout troops will also get involved for community service, the mayor said, but more volunteers are needed.