The Parish Town Historical Society will host a spring walk on
May 17 at the historic Bidwell Cemetery at 12:30 p.m.. This resting place of many
early Parish citizens is located on Bidwell Road. The life and
times of these Parish community members buried in the cemetery
will be portrayed by members and friends of the Parish Town
Historical Society in a touching and memorable way--in their own
The Bidwell Cemetery Association is not under the care of the
town of Parish, but managed by a board of trustees: Harold
Petrie, president, Reginald Simmons, vice-president, Velma Lewis
Caswell , secretary/treasurer and Angie Simmons.
Burr Simmons was president for many years, followed by Andy
Lewis. In this not-for-profit association; Harold Petrie became
president in 1980 when approached by Andy Lewis. At that time
the state was at the point of seizing all funds due to lack of
Harold found the cemetery full of fallen branches and broken
fences allowing cows to roam inside. Harold and his daughter
Cindy took on the task of cleaning and burning off the leaves.
The association hired Herman Gehrke to take over the care.
Herman did a tremendous amount of work over the next 5 or 6
years. His stepson Francis Maunder and family cared for the
cemetery for a few years. Then the service was carried on by
The Bidwell Cemetery Association will have a meeting around the
second week of April. The group is looking for new members. If
you are interested in getting involved with this sacred site;
contact Harold Petrie at 315.625.7526.
Family names at Bidwell cemetery:
ACKLEY, ALBERT, AUSTIN, BELLINGER, BIDWELL, BLISS, BROOKS,
BURROWS, BUSH, BUTRICK, CAMPBELL, CARL, CARPENTER, CHORLEY, COAN
COLE, CRIM, CROSS, DAVEY, DE GARMO, DICKISON, DUELL, ENSLOW,
FRAVOR, FYLER, GARDENER, GARDNER, HETHERINGTON, HORNING, HOUSE,
HUESTED, IRISH, JACOBSON, JENNINGS, KEELER, LAING, LAST, NILES,
LUDINGTON, MARSH, MARTIN, MC LYMOND, MENTER, MILLER, MORE,
MORRISON, MOWERS, OSTERHOUT, OWENS, PALMER, PATTENGALL, PETRIC,
PETRIE, PHELPS, PICKENS, PITCHER, POTTER, POWERS, RATHBURN,
REED, ROBBINS, ROOD, ROUND, ROW, SHERMAN, SIMMONS, SIVERS,
SMITH, SNOW, SPICER, SPENCER THAYER, TRISTON, WASWORTH, WEST,
WESTOVER, WHEELER, WHITE, WHITNEY, WILD, WILCOX, WILLIAMS,
WILSON and YOUNG.
fifty people came out under threatening skies May 17 for the
Parish Town Historical Societyís Cemetery walk. This walk,
being the fifth in a series, took place at the Bidwell
Cemetery located on Bidwell Road, just a stoneís throw from
where it intersects County Route 26.
Parish Town Historian, Mary Bridget Swartz, gave a short
synopsis of the cemetery and introduced each character in
Supervisor Steve Stelmashuck led the event with his
portrayal of Jonathon Irish, a former Parish Town Supervisor
from the late 1800ís. Next Aubryn Stelmashuck took on the
role of Francelia Huested, a young girl who died two days
before her twelfth birthday. She was buried next to her
fatherís first wife, who also was her maternal aunt.
The third presentation was by Nancy Weaver Bookheimer who
read a biography/history of the
(House) family who came to Parish in the early 1800ís.
Surrounded by wild flowers in full bloom, Evelyn Stelmashuck
portrayed Jane Laing, a farmerís wife, who with her husband
David, donated land for a school, before moving to Amboy and
a bigger farm. The school located on County Route 26 just
east of present day County Route 22 was given the Laing
name. Jane lived to be 88 years old.
Dwyer with a rifle and in period dress, depicted Chauncy
Gardener, a First Lieutenant during the Civil War. Kevin
also read an interesting biography on Russell Horning who is
buried at Bidwell and for whom Parishís present day American
Legion is named after.
McNamara wrapped up the character list as she acted out the
life of Freelove Potter, a hardworking farm woman. Linda
gave a full account of the numerous duties a woman had to do
on a day to day basis.
Venita Ackley, President of Pleasant Lawn Cemetery Assoc.
gave a short talk on the status and upcoming events at
Pleasant Lawn Cemetery. The event ended amidst rain drops
as Harold Petrie gave a talk on the Bidwell Cemetery in
general of which he is the Association President.
The Bidwell Cemetery Association held it's annual
meeting April 29th at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harold
Petrie. Mr. Petrie, President of the Association and his
wife Ruby welcomed new members to the Association: Mrs.
Sharon Robbins, Mrs. Susan Romanowski, and Mrs. Nancy
Bookheimer, all of Bidwell Road. The Cemetery
Association is in need of interested people to continue
in the support and maintenance of the Bidwell Cemetery.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the
Association please contact Mr. Harold Petrie, 625-7526.
Parish Town Historical Society
Spring Walk at Getman- 2007
Bidwell Cemetery Census