Old Town Cemetery

Adopt a Plot

The Old Town Cemetery is filled with the graves of interesting people who played a role in the early years of the Hudson Valley. A couple from Connecticut has "adopted" the plot of the Hubbard family, visiting two or three times each year to rake leaves, clear brush, and generally provide loving care and attention.

Left: Nov. 14, 2006. Journalist and book author Kris Hansen, her husband Kornel Krechoweckyj, and NPA board member & Old Town Cemetery volunteer John McCormick stand behind the tombstone recently re-installed for Hansen's distant relative, Edward Hubbard, who died in 1893.

Hubbard was the pilot of the Henry Clay on the fateful day, July 28, 1852, when the river steamer caught fire after racing against another steamer down the Hudson. The accident took the lives of nearly 100 people, including Newburgh's most famous resident, Andrew Jackson Downing. Originally accused of manslaughter, Captain Hubbard was later recognized for his heroism in the tragedy by the saving the lives of many.

Hansen become interested in Hubbard's story while researching her book on the subject, Death Passage on the Hudson: The Wreck of the Henry Clay (Fleischmans, NY: Purple Mountain Press, 2004 [Amazon]).

After visiting Old Town Cemetery to find Hubbard's grave, the couple became interested in restoring and maintaining the area and "adopted" the plot where Hubbard and two of his three wives are buried. In the Fall of 2006, they paid for the creation of a tombstone to replace the original, which had vanished.

If you would like to "adopt a plot" or simply help keep the Old Town Cemetery a pleasant place to visit, call John McCormick at (845) 561-0700