The New Letchworth Village Cemetery / Hudson Valley DDSO Cemetery
In 1967, Letchworth Village retired what is now called the "Old Letchworth Village Cemetery," which was located in a clearing in a wooded area near Call Hollow Road in Stony Point, New York; and opened this one, which is located on Thiells Mt Ivy Road (County Road 47) in Thiells, New York.
This cemetery was used by Letchworth Village until the facility closed in 1996. It's now used by the Hudson Valley office of the New York State Office For People With Developmental Disabilities, and some of the graves are very recent.
The new cemetery is different from the Old Cemetery in several ways, not the least of which being that few people seem to know where it is. I drove past it several times because the sign is set back from the road and is easily missed.
I finally asked a police officer. He didn't know where it was either; but he was able to give me good directions anyway based on the cemetery's proximity to a baseball field.
Another way in which this cemetery is different is that most of the decedents at the new cemetery were adults when they passed away. Some were very young adults and some were very old; but few of those who rest here were children when they died, at least as far I could tell from reading the markers.
That seems odd to me. To the best of my knowledge, there was no overlap in time between the two cemeteries, so it's hard to explain the disparity in the decedents' ages at death. The best hypothesis I can come up with is that advances in medicine had reduced the rate of child mortality by 1967, when this cemetery opened.
Also unlike the case in the Old Cemetery, the graves at this cemetery were marked with simple stones that bear the names of the deceased and the dates of their births and deaths. The graves at the Old Cemetery were marked with simple steel markers bearing only numbers, most of which remain there to this day.
At both cemeteries, families were welcome to replace the markers with headstones if they wished. Only a few chose to do so. Most of the graves at both cemeteries still bear only the original markers placed by the facility.
The older graves at this cemetery are pretty starkly divided into one might call a Christian section on the North side, and a Jewish section on the South side. There also is a large, cross-shaped stone on the Eastern border of the cemetery bearing the words "Catholic Cemetery," which suggests that the "Christian section" may have been subdivided into different denominations.
In one way, this cemetery is an even sadder place than the Old Cemetery, and that is that no one seems to visit here. At the Old Cemetery, many of the graves and the monument at the entrance have remembrances such as flowers, stones, small toys, and a child-sized glove, mostly left by strangers who are unrelated to the deceased, but nonetheless visit regularly to pay their respects to them.
That's not the case at the new cemetery. When I shot this video, there were no signs of any recent visits by anyone except myself. Most of the original stones, which were set flush with the ground, are unreadable because they're obscured by grass; and I don't notice any with stones, flowers, or other remembrances on any of them.
Then again, I've never been one to visit the dead on a regular basis, either. Maybe that's a habit I should change.
This cemetery shares a driveway with a house on Thiells Mt Ivy Road. I'm not sure whether it's a private home or the caretaker's residence. It doesn't look like a cemetery entrance either way. Just in case you're interested in visiting, I added the cemetery to OpenStreetMap. You can find it here.
Screen Shots from this Video
The screen shots in the gallery that follows are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC BY-SA). In other words, you are free to use them pursuant to the terms of the license.
Special thanks to Idri and Mother Rita for setting me straight and correcting me with regard to the history and other facts surrounding Letchworth Village.