‘Gravestone Guy’ restoring historic Ability Cemetery in Farmington NY

FARMINGTON, NY — After scanning the expanse of the Power Cemetery, a further gentleman may have thrown his arms up into the air and walked absent.  

But not Dave Bloom, self-proclaimed cemetery hound and “The Gravestone Person,” as his colorfully tie-dyed enterprise card reads. 

When Bloom was called in by the Farmington Historical Preservation Commission for his volunteer help in restoring this early 1800s cemetery on County Highway 41 near Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, he currently was familiar with it and its condition and lifted his arms up to the sky. 

“I was like, ‘Yesssssssssss!’ Best,” Bloom said. “Let me aid.” 

Now in year two of the job, the Canandaigua resident said this is most probable going to get at least another year of do the job, if not two.  

Due to the fact this is what he identified. Some of the headstone pieces marking the graves of some of Farmington’s earliest residents he uncovered buried in the ground – and not normally in which they need to have been. Some were being standing, or at least tilting.  

Some were discovered leaning in opposition to trees, yards away from in which they were intended to be. Some pieces were lined up in weeds.  

Some were in piles damaged and blended with each other, type of like a jigsaw puzzle except that these pieces appear from several unique puzzles. Some were being suitable facet up, and other folks have been upside down. 

Here's an example of the condition of a headstone in Power Cemetery, which is on County Road 41 in Farmington.

Some were being harmed by the inexorable march of time and mother nature — eight black locust trees have presently been eliminated from the cemetery and more are marked for removing. Roots are great for a genealogical household tree but not so superior for the resting sites of the family members users in them. And a falling limb most likely took out a chunk of a headstone of a member of the Electric power family members tree.

Some of the harm is rooted in human character — decades ago, concrete was regarded a point out-of-the-art preservation instrument for these aged stones, but now, not so, Bloom said. Other people showed tell-tale indicators of lawn mowers coming way too close for comfort and ease. 

It was a war zone.  

“A complete war zone,” Bloom reported. 

Early Farmington history 

Dave Bloom didn't see a lost cause when he found headstones in Power Cemetery looking like this. Instead, he sees restoring these stones as an opportunity to bring respect to the people buried here and to help their descendants learn more about them and the times they lived in.

Some of Farmington’s earliest pioneers came here from Adams, Massachusetts in February 1788, according to City Historian Donna Hill-Herendeen.  

The following calendar year, members of the Hathaway, Comstock, Herendeen and Aldrich families made their way right here on an uncharted path — marking a trail for other folks to comply with, Hill-Herendeen reported.  

In 1790, Quakers Abiathar and Zimrhoda Power followed that path. Their son was born right here in 1792 and in 1814 he died and was buried on the Energy farmland. His moms and dads and Electrical power family members customers are buried all-around him.