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Scout to bring monument to forgotten Hardscrabble Cemetery

Brandon Hart empties out a truck full of bottles and cans collected this past Saturday. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help offset costs of Hart’s Eagle Scout project, which is to place a monument at the Hardscrabble Cemetery in Van Buren.

Brandon Hart empties out a truck full of bottles and cans collected this past Saturday. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help offset costs of Hart’s Eagle Scout project, which is to place a monument at the Hardscrabble Cemetery in Van Buren.

— “We know all the names, but would like information on possible descendants and more information on one man who we know was in the War of 1812,” Tupper said during a recent board meeting.

In his own words, Hart said he is “picking up the torch from three ladies that spearheaded this movement to reestablish the Hardscrabble Cemetery.” After the tombstones were removed in the 1940s, the land was used as a cornfield until Lesley Voorhees brought the matter to the attention of the town board shortly after the stones were removed, Hart said. In 2003, Helen Page and Jane McIntyre continued Voorhees’ work to commemorate the individuals buried in the cemetery.

While the project seems straightforward, Hart said it’s a lot more than just placing a monument in the center of the cemetery.

“I have to raise $2,180 for just the monument,” he said, adding he needs to landscape the area as well. “I am also working on getting a special gravestone from the VA just for the War of 1812 veteran whose name is Josiah Parish. He served in the New York's 16th regiment (militia) for Onondaga County.”

To raise money for the project, Hart has been holding bottle and can drives with the help of Lucky 7 Redemption Center in Nobles Plaza along Syracuse Street in the village. So far, he has raised $630 from his first three drives. His next two drives will be held on March 22 and 23.

Hart encourages people interested in supporting the project to donate their bottles and cans to the redemption center; simply ask the counter person to credit the Hardscrabble Cemetery account. If you have information regarding those buried in the cemetery or are interested in making a monetary donation to the project, contact Hart at domace26@gmail.com.

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