Monday, April 30, 2012

City to allow development of colonial cemetery

This is Brinckerhoff Cemetery, a burial ground for the Brinckerhoff family, Dutch settlers who owned a nearby farm for some 150 years. The earliest grave dates to about 1730. In 1919, a survey was completed that found 72 headstones, which have since disappeared.

In 1957 and 1960, a nearby resident purchased the 2 lots from the City, which had condemned it due to non-payment of taxes. (Why would a cemetery be taxed in the first place?) It turns out that the City had illegally sold the property.

Descendants of that owner have petitioned a court to declare the cemetery abandoned in order to clear the way for a sale to a developer who wants to build 2 homes on the property.

In 2000, the LPC calendared the property in anticipation of declaring it an official NYC landmark. Also in 2000, a judge ordered the sale of the property to the Queens Historical Society for $100,000, but only gave them 14 days to come up with the money. They failed to do so.

Elected officials representing the area, including Toby Stavisky and James Gennaro, have called on the City to preserve the property as a public memorial or park, but have not allocated funding toward its purchase by either the City or a non-profit like QHS.

In 2010, the property was resold to a developer for $105,000.

Last week, the LPC sent out letters stating that they will be holding a hearing on 5/15 to decalendar the property.

And there goes another piece of Queens history due to hack politicians who say all the right things, but don't back up their words with action. Do we still have a Queens Borough President? Anyone seen her around lately?


Anonymous said...

I'll bet the property could be saved if Toby Stavisky didn't give so much money to the North Flushing Senior Center!

Just sayin'...

Joe said...

Without the headstones it will be near impossible to tell or prove graves are there.
Back in the 1700s caskets were made of wood and pegs, no embalming for average people. Any remnants of casket or bone would look like soil by now. surly ALL gone as soon as the trees are attacked.

I truly believe this is what happened on the St.Saviors sight. Both the last 2 buyers and some people from the city HAD to know about graves and kept there mouths shut. (money does the talking when it come to acres)
I personally saw some grave markers on the St.Saviors sight as a teenager hanging out on that property with the old gang. Yeah we smoked pot and drank beer (stupid kids) but DO KNOW what we saw.
Once really old guy (A priest ?) came out of a house across the street and even pointed 3 small stones out with carvings on them.
Not one person was interested in believing us and I don't expect the results of this situation to be any different.

When the trees come down it will be UN-announced and swift to make sure any evidence of burials is gone.
Watch some city expert claim "just all dirt nothing down there"
This is absolutely disgusting !

Anonymous said...

Building on top of a cemetery......bad karma.........

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, soundings are used to determine the presence of graves, no matter how old they are. Once the ground is disturbed, it changes the land forever. It was done at Prospect Cemetery in Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

How's that rebuilding of St. Saviour's in Lutheran Cemetery going?
It's been over four years since the rebuilding was announced and the last time I passed there was still worksheds, garages, trailers and a greenhouse in use.

Anonymous said...

It's not going because the money allocated for it has not been released thanks to the incompetence of Middle Village's elected officials and city and state government.

Anonymous said...

"...the incompetence of Middle Village's elected officials..."

Oh yeah. I forgot that Elizabeth Crowley was too busy climbing the political ladder to do ANYTHING for her community. Her career is way more important than the needs and wants of her constituents.

Local voters should remember her St. Saviour's efforts when they vote in the Democrat Congressional Primary.

Count Dreckula said...

That's it...I'm being cremated.
NYC doesn't respect graves like in my homeland.

I'll have my gypsies transport my ashes...then just add water and blood as needed to reconstitute me whole again.

No shit!

Anonymous said...

Why the hell should the Bloomberg administration give a flying fuck?

Our sawed-off "Emperor Bumberg" will eventually be buried in a gold bejeweled coffin lined with soft old $100 bills...respectfully interred in a grand mausoleum...located on the grounds of his Bermuda compound.

His remains won't be disturbed.

Now too bad that an African-American grave or two can't be discovered in the Brinckerhoff cemetery.

That would be a story of
an entirely different color.

These deceased old Dutch are members of the wrong minority group.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me a cemetery could be taxed under two scenarios: one, if the Brinckerhoff family was simply burying their dead on the privately-owned farm; two (inapplicable here) when a private company owns the land to make a profit from burying the dead.

Ed Unneland

Anonymous said...

Its not hack politicians - its our own preservationists that are behind this travesty.

I remember talking to Stan Cogan (Mr Headstone) about the Burroughs Cemetery - half built on in the 80s - no interest as the other half was an empty (read build-able) lot.

How about the Corona Cemetery opened a few months ago.

Where are all those preservationists in eastern Queens -you know - the ones that wants to call the shots for their own Queens Landmarks Commission.

Yea, lets hear it from CNN, QHS, Jim, Paul, Jack?

Come on guys, front n center.

Anonymous said...

It's not going because the money allocated for it has not been released thanks to the incompetence of Middle Village's elected officials and city and state government.



Anonymous said...

The link said that Queens Historical was offered to buy the property for $100,000 back in 2000. That was 12 years ago. They couldn't raise that much by now?

Anonymous said...

Remember the big stink about the Quaker Cemetery.

Media attention. Great opportunity to make known the routine desecration of cemeteries in Queens from development.

What did they do?

Only talk about their problem.

So here we are a few weeks later.

Anonymous said...

Actually, all cemeteries in NYS are required to be not for profits.

Anonymous said...

Where is this exactly?

Helen said...

Is the U.S. Constitution being taught in the public school system? If not, Hillsdale College is offering a free course online. It's entitled "Constitution 101". Anyone can sign up here:

New York's Democrat politicians are trying to erase Citizens' private property rights. Just take a look at what's happening in Willets Point.

Anonymous said...

Expectations for a Queens-elected pol are pretty low: try to stay out of jail, and stay on Joe Crowley's good side.

Anonymous said...

"...stay on Joe Crowley's good side..."
And if you are a republican try to stay away from the Haggerty's and Gallagher and Ognibene and Ragusa and Bloomberg and Maltese and...
Jeez, the only one you might want be close to is Eric Ulrich.

Anonymous said...

the Queens racialists and environmentalists could solve this situation ? but it appears all graves might hold caucasians only.

Anonymous said...

How much did the Caucasians do when the graves were found at that field in Bayside, Gramps?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like some bitter jealous lazy "granny" Ass-torian mouthing off again.

What historic sites has Greater Astoria Historical Society saved recently?

Or for that matter...
what have they saved from destruction in the past?

Anonymous said...

Somebody's mighty jealous of Quaker gumption...regarding their meeting house burial ground.

If that critic had some fire in his belly...he would be out there fighting the Brinckerhoff battle... instead of grumbling from his armchair about whose fault it is that the burial ground is being taken off LPC's calender.

Oh but he'd have to raise a sweat to do that.

Our spoiled gentleman prefers to give his servants orders.

Anonymous said...

what graves in bayside?????

Anonymous said...

Abon No. 24:

These graves:

Anonymous said...

How many of those dead Dutch are still enrolled to vote in New York City?

Anonymous said...

It is known that Francis Lewis park in Whitestone has bones and artifacts buried underneath. As a matter of fact, some laborers admitted to finding items and were told to keep it quite. These artifacts may very well be from the Brits when they attacked lewis' house and did wha they did.

Anonymous said...

#25 ...that site is located in Flushing,Queens at 164 street at 46th Avenue.
the site was originally purchased as a public burial ground by the residents of Flushing on 6/15/1840 for $400. Between 500-1000 individuals were buried there, of which the MAJORITY were African-Americans OR Native -Americans. There were also a number of POOR WHITES, as well as WEALTHIER INDIVIDUALS that died during the cholera and smallpox epidemics and were therefore not interred in the family plot for fear of contamination.the last burial was in 1898.

from site history 7/2005-Capital Project of the Month, Martin's Field, team:Steven Whitesell,Proj. Mgr., Ruby Wei,Specification writer.


also read the plaques of the once known"Paupers Burial Ground" to get more history that has been butchered by incompetent times ledger and nyt so-called reporters.

ie,the correct middle initial is Everett "P" Martin, not the error in the times -ledger. if one searches the correct name,much can be learned of him.
read his letter to editor of nyt,1913. can this man be a racist ,as he was deemed in the times ledger ?

many articles written about this site are attempts to re-write history. one wonders why ?

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 28:

I would say that you are trying to rewrite history here. Who played the lead role, the primary role in trying to save this field?

New York Historian said...

FYI, Recently I found my cousins gg-grandfather Nicholas Klein and Nicholas infant son. They are buried in this Brinkerhoff cemetery. Shouldn't they be recorded as being interred in this cemetery, for the record?. I have both death certificates. Jim

Here is his online Memorial and bio.

Anonymous said... the words of those officials from the nyc government in the parks dept. documents and the actual plaques on the site of the former "MARTINS FIELD"
read the butchered news articles by reporters from the nyt and times ledger. Q.C. has archived them. searh Martin's full name. i found the articles ,so can you. if you can handle facts ?

compare the data and then criticize ?
the media involved refuses to correct their false and omitted reporting . Why ? one could surmise that they have been "in the tank" for some people? could it be convenient to charge the caucasians with racism again ?

the so-called reporters omitted the data that POOR WHITES and WEALTHIER INDIVIDUALS also were buried at the site. did they desire to create a racial issue ? why, and who desired, this result ?

other nyc sites bear the remains of epidemic victims,like the south side of Washington Square Pk.

35 % of the interred were ethnically unidentifiable and over half were children under the age of five years old. read the site plaques...

Anonymous said...

I can always handle the facts. What you can't handle is the fact that the guy who got the job here was a guy named Mandingo Tshaka, regardless of what the reasons were. Why do you think that is?

Anonymous said...

Where is Jack, Jim, Paul, QCC, the 4 boros, the Queens Preservation whatever.

Outside of lobbying for a Queens Preservation Commission and slipping 'official' lists to Tierney to isolate him from grassroots efforts ab-so-lute-ly nothing

THAT is why this outrage is happening.

Anonymous said...

I think that last bit of BS is originating from one who appears to be on the BRINCKERHOFF of a breakdown.

Anonymous said...

from nyc parks dept. press release,Sat.11/18/2006 :


"The total renovation completed represents a $2.7 MILLION investment of city capital dollars secured through the steadfast efforts of Cm. Liu and myself ," said Queen Borough President Marshall "Together, with the expertise of Dept. of Parks, the site has been transformed into a beautiful community asset that captures the essence of the past for today and tomorrow."

are the 77 interred dutch/ americans at Brinkerhoff cemetery PRESENTLY being treated like second class citizens because they were the WRONG COLOR, when they died ?

the politicians got the money when they REALLY wanted it.

if you read the Q.C link, the donor address is given.
some of the pols and ex-pols trying to help are listed.

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 35:

Proving that Mandingo Tshaka pushed the right buttons and got the job done - otherwise the cemetery would not have been preserved. He didn't just save the graves of one ethnic group -he saved all of them. And you know it.

Joe said...

Crappy. I just spoke to an engineer friend about ground penetrating sonar (GPR soundings)
Yep all true Once the ground is disturbed, it changes the density forever.
However the citys lawyers are looking to build a loophole around the imaging prooving whatever "was" down there has returned to "dirt" no longer exsists and the land can be used !!
Dispicable !!

Queens Crapper said...

The Parks Dept always owned Martins Field, so it did not have to be saved. Tshaka's role was to have it marked appropriately and have the old name restored.

Anonymous said...

AM Ballard said...

Terribe...There could very well still be tangable human remains underground there. Soil acidity and water content have a lot to do with preservation of bone. It is entirely possible remains could still be present---the only way to find out would be to of course do a Ph soil test and probing. In any case, this is not just history and heritage, but also a cemetery that was over 100 persons buried in it. To make the assumption that "all has turned to dust" without some actual evidence just shows the owner's ignorance and greed.

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