The Parish Town Historical Society’s Annual Cemetery Walk was held at the
historic Pleasant Lawn Cemetery South
Railroad Street/Route 69A at 1 PM on Saturday, June18. The Pleasant Lawn
Cemetery is the largest of the Parish, NY cemeteries. It was established in
1806 and has an active cemetery association.
The program began with
Parish Town historian
Bridget Swartz giving a brief history in the front of the chapel. The
oldest section of the cemetery was donated by Rev. Gamaliel Barnes. The
settlement was commenced in Parish by Rev. Gamaliel Barnes and his
son-in-law, Stephen D. Morse, in 1803. Rev. Barnes took the thirty cemetery
walk guests back to the time when he first prospected here in Parish in 1802
and through the life span of his multiple talents and the many other firsts
he had here in Parish. Rev. Gamaliel Barnes was portrayed by Steve
Stelmashuck, supervisor of the Town of Parish.
The fascinating lives of Samuel F. Mills and Nathan A. Petrie were portrayed
by Doug Carver and Dan Dalin.
Mills and Petrie were first cousins from each sides of their family. Both
Parish and Ashton, Illinois were home to both Mills
and Petrie with equal time spent at both towns. In a double ceremony,
Petrie married Sarah E. Howard and Mills married Louise Getman.
Every day Parish residents and visitors drive, walk around or utilize the
legacies left by Mills and Petrie. Pleasant Lawn Cemetery is the site of
the brick Tudor Gothic style Mills and Petrie Chapel (1917) and the Mills
and Petrie Mausoleum. The mausoleum, completed in 1899, is the final resting
place of Parish philanthropists, Nathan Albert Petrie and Samuel Franklin
Mills and their wives.
Other contributions to their hometown of Parish that still stand today: the
Soldiers monument (1911); Parish Public Library (1922); chime clock (1923)
and the Memorial Gymnasium (1925).