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Pine Plains Cemetery celebrates its bicentennial

Sue Greenhagen, left, describes the Civil War-era grave markers at Pine Plains Cemetery in Clay during the cemetery's bicentennial celebration while town historian Dorothy Heller listens.

Sue Greenhagen, left, describes the Civil War-era grave markers at Pine Plains Cemetery in Clay during the cemetery's bicentennial celebration while town historian Dorothy Heller listens. Jill Romano

— According to Greenhagen, public interest in Civil War history has waxed and waned throughout time. First it was the centennial anniversary of the Civil War that sparked an interest; then it was “The Civil War,” a documentary film broadcast as a miniseries on PBS in 1990. When the romantic “Gettysburg” hit theaters in 1993, more people began researching the war. Now, amid the sesquicentennial celebration of the war, interest is growing again.

For someone interested in the war’s history, Central New York is a good place to live. New York sent the most men and the most resources to the war, and today, there are more than 20 Civil War Round Tables throughout the state, including one in Onondaga County.

At the Pine Plains Cemetery, interest in history never wanes, because it is the town’s history.

“It means a lot to the people in town,” said cemetery trustee Glenn Sotherden. “It’s a part of life.”

The crowd gathered on that warm and sunny Saturday was a testament to the intimate connection between the cemetery and the ancestors of those buried there.

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