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Old Cemetery

Written by Eugene Kuykendall

The Sloatsburg Cemetery dates back over 200 years to when Pvt. John Sloat was buried on a "grassy knoll' in 1781  (His hand carved fieldstone may be viewed today in the Sloat Family Plot). 

By 1832, this had become the Sloat family burial plot.  Jacob and Stephen Sloat, the industrialists and founding fathers of  Sloatsburg, are buried here as are their children and grandchildren.

By 1852, other local families began burials in what is now known as the "hill section" of the cemetery. 

In 1878 a Sloatsburg Cemetery Association was formed.  From 1878-1936 this Association acquired  property, sold and maintained family burial plots. 

Nearly 1,200 individual headstone inscriptions are to be found today in this approximately 5 acre cemetery, including veterans of all major wars.  Perhaps half that many again are known to be buried there without headstones.  It remains an active cemetery where a few people still own burial lots.  The names on the headstones present a virtual history of the families who founded and populated Sloatsburg. 

Since 1936, this cemetery, like many other older burial grounds, has been effectively un-owned, unmanaged, ill-maintained and un-cataloged.  Some families continue to provide care for individual family plots, but much of the grounds have become badly overgrown over the years despite several ad-hoc cleanup efforts and unsuccessful attempts to provide for continuing care.  Headstones have become weather stained, sunken, fallen and broken, some vandalism has occurred, and other restoration actions are needed. 

The Sloatsburg cemetery is one of the most significant historic sites in Sloatsburg, and, more importantly,  the final resting place for many of the early local families.  It is located in a secluded wooded area of the village with a stream running nearby.  It is in the process of being restored and maintained as an attractive point of pride for our community.