Written by Eugene Kuykendall
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.