NYC Area Volunteers for a Cemetery Project

A. E. Jordan

I am trying to organize a cemetery project for Mt Zion Cemetery in Maspeth, Queens, New York before winter sets in (or if we fail now in the spring).

I am thinking of trying to do this (weather dependent) November 10th or November 17 -- a Sunday morning.  Roads will be quieter to drive there and hopefully the weather will not be too cold.  Plus the target plot is in about as good a condition as it will be.

Looking a for a few volunteers with the primary interest being people with a digital camera to take photos and maybe a few people to do some paperwork on site.  (Phase II might require some computer work volunteers.)  Note there are NO PATHS so it is involving walking over uneven ground, possibly climbing over or around stones, etc. and there will be some wildlife -- those tiny lizards, squirrels, and who knows.  I say this so if you are hesitant please don't volunteer although I have been though this plot a few dozen times and not had a problem with animals and maybe stumbled but never fallen.  I consider it safe but of course you are at your own risk.

The idea is there is a large plot (2,700 graves) at Mt Zion which seems to have constant interest from people but which the cemetery office has no map and limited details.  The plot is called Judah 1 and it is very challenging to find individual graves without the map because it is not one plot but actually a series of sub sections within the big plot.  Also since the burial society is long defunct the plot gets less maintenance but right now is clean cut and of course will stay that way till spring.

While the database say 2,700 stones the reality is the project will yield less since there are two large areas of children's stones that will yield little and some stones have fallen or are unreadable.  There are a few interesting and unique stones in the plot too.

My idea is volunteers will take sections of the plot and photograph every stone.  You will have to make some indications as you go to local or rows and then we can match the names and stones up and maybe even draw a map of this plot.  The individual lines are fairly small so you will do a few lines, starting from the same side and indicating when each row ends.  Final result will take some time to compile after we leave the cemetery but then we can load it to JOWBR as a gift to the broader community and if we draw a map maybe even give it to Mt Zion for their future reference.

This will be all volunteer but someone offered to buy coffee for the intrepid researchers and I am offering my time (hopefully expertise) to organize it.

If you can assist please email me directly.

Thank you

Allan Jordan