1 Looking through the trees, you can barely make out the headstones still standing in this old cemetery which, by the way, is landlocked on private property. This particular plot, known as Cantitoe Cemetery, was formerly called Westcott Cemetery.
2 Once inside the walls of the graveyard, more and more headstones are detected.
3 It's quite obvious that this burying ground has been neglected for many, many years.
4 The Friends of Bedford Burying Grounds (FBBG) found all of the original maps of the more than 30 cemeteries in Bedford. These maps are very useful in their restoration progress.
5 Many members of the Westcott family are buried here. This headstone is inscribed Julia Ann - Wife of Alfred Westcott - Died Feb. 27, 1909 - Aged 89 years 10 Mo. & 11 days.
6 This headstone was adorned with weeping willow trees, which symbolize mourning and grief.
7 It's interesting to note that when this cemetery was formed, the land was cleared and no trees were growing here. These trees sprouted and have taken over.
8 This mature tree decided to grow right on top of this grave.
9 The tree is actually growing over the footstone.
10 Unfortunately, the headstone of Abigail Miller has not fared well.
11 Many stones have been toppled or broken when trees fall on them.
12 Stones that have toppled are often buried beneath several inches of composted leaves. With a little gentle digging, stones can be unearthed.
13 The group never uses metal shovels or any other hard objects, which will further damage the stones.
14 Eventually, FBBG hopes to have fallen stones, like this one, standing on their bases again.
15 Jenny Weisburger, the president of FBBG, was thrilled to find a very unusual double-wide stone, undoubtedly belonging to a married couple.
16 Without further cleaning, it was impossible to read this inscription, but from the size of the stone, it's a pretty sure and sad bet that a child is buried here.
17 This is the grave of William Sarles, who died in 1851 at 79 years of age. The Westcotts, Millers, and Sarles were three of the original twenty-two settlers of Bedford, who came to the area in the 1680's.
18 A broken footstone covered with blue-green lichen
19 Travis Miller passed in 1859 at the young ate of 36.
20 According to the map, this was once an entrance to the burying ground.
21 This appears to be a forged iron hinge, bored into a stone, where a gate once swung.
22 Cantitoe Cemetery needs a lot of clearing and restoration and FBBG is hopeful that one day that will take place.
23 A further drive down to road let to where Chief Katonah and his wife, Squaw Cantitoe, are buried. The Puritan settlers purchased a tract of land from the Chief for coats, blankets, wampum and cloth.
24 It is believed that Chief Katonah is buried beneath the large boulder and that Squaw Cantitoe and their son are buried beneath the other.
25 Even further down the road, sitting atop this hill, is the old St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery.
26 This burying ground has really been ravaged by time.
27 Very few stones are intact.
28 This giant tree has really taken over.
29 It will be a challenge freeing this stone.
30 Ellen Fletcher, from the County of Galway Ireland, was 57 years old when she was buried here in 1879.
31 FBBG has no plans right now to begin this restoration project.
32 We then visited another cemetery in Bedford Hills where many members of the Dingee family, another original settler, are interred. This one is a work in progress of the FBBG.
33 These headstones had all been toppled, buried, or tossed over the sides of the hill that this cemetery sits upon.
34 Many stones were broken and were epoxied back together before being repositioned to their rightful locations, according to the cemetery map.
35 This missing piece has yet to be found.
36 This headstone was actually shot at and has a hole clear through!
37 Four Civil War veterans and one American Revolution veteran are interred here.
38 More weeping willows on this stone dating from 1849
39 Good work and thank you to the Friends of Bedford Burying Grounds for returning this fascinating history to its rightful place.