The Isaac Morse Cemetery in Ticonderoga, long forgotten, has been reclaimed. The site of a Revolutionary War veteran’s grave, it hosted a Memorial Day ceremony. Taking part were World War II veterans Gerald Abbott, left, and Charles “Gusher” Smith. A Veterans Day event is being planned.
A long-neglected resting place of a Revolutionary War veteran has been reclaimed in Ticonderoga.
The forgotten historic cemetery at the base of Cook’s Mountain on Baldwin Road was discovered by Dr. Bill and Bob O’Connor, who recently purchased the land. With the help of Albert Powvorznik and Keith Dolbeck, the cemetery has been restored.
“This cemetery, known as the Isaac Morse Cemetery, was until recently an overgrown tangle in the woods littered with dead branches, broken tombstones and in a general state of disrepair,” said Bill Dolback, Ticonderoga town historian.
“After the property containing the cemetery was recently purchased by the O’Connor brothers, a neighbor Albert Powvorznik became dedicated to resurrecting and restoring this burial plot and enlisted others to his cause,” Dolback said. “One of those people, Keith Dolbeck who had also know of this burial ground since childhood, along with Albert, cleaned and groomed the site as well as rebuilt one of the tombstones.”
The cemetery is the resting place of Isaac Morse, a Revolutionary War veteran. His stone reads:
“Isaac Morse/died Feb 21/1840/Aged 80 year
Who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War
Justice of the Peace for many years in Ticonderoga
And the first American citizen to this farm”
“While there were probably many past residents who were Revolutionary soldiers, they were often buried in gravesites marked with long-gone wooden markers or crosses,” Dolback said. “It is very unusual to see stones such as this that recognized the deceased as a Revolutionary soldier. Perhaps the fact that Mr. Morse was a successful farmer, landowner, and one of this town’s first justices, provide his family with the means to have such an elaborate stone cut to mark his passing.”
This past Memorial Day a ceremony was held at the cemetery. Attending were the O’Connor brothers, Powvorznik, Dolbeck, Dolback, World War II veterans Charles “Gusher” Smith and Gerald Abbott, and Ticonderoga Post 224 American Legion Honor Guard Commander Richard Gavlin, First Vice Commander Charles Messier, and Chaplin Bill Sanders along with legion representative Tom Provoncha, and Sons of the Legion members Bob Fuller, Jon Moses, and George Ashe.
Also attending were Irene Putnam, Leslie Midgley, John McDonald, Nancy Tierney, Deacon Elliott Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Thatcher, Mr. & Mrs. Terry Smith and several neighbors and interested residents and guests.
“A military prayer was delivered by Chaplin Sanders and a trumpet rendition of Taps was performed by the American Legion,” Dolback said. “A discussion on the restoration of the cemetery was provided by Mr. Powvorznik. Thanks were offered to Keith Dolbeck for the construction of the replacement gravestone and to Nye Quesnel and Gerry Gendron who helped erect it. Keith Dolbeck provided a brief history of the cemetery and also offered a special thanks to Albert Powvorznik for his relentless dedication to the overall project.”
The town historian said another program will be held at the Isaac Morse Cemetery this Veterans Day. That ceremony, like one Memorial Day, will help highlight the 250th anniversary of the settlement of Ticonderoga, which will be observed in 2014. Dolback is co-chairman of the Ticonderoga 250th anniversary committee.
“As we approach our 250th Town of Ticonderoga Settlement Anniversary (1764-2014) we are striving to bring forth awareness of the town’s historical past,” he said.
People who are interested in visiting the Isaac More Cemetery can do so. The land owners have agreed to allow visitors. Anyone wishing the burial site can contact Powvorznik at 585-7196 for directions to the trial leading to the cemetery.