Magagkamack Churchyard of the Dutch Reformed Church
Port Jervis, New York and Related Area Photographs
Operating as a burial ground between about 1737 and 1850, it took a destructive, tornado-like storm in the mid-1990s to spur the respectful restoration of the Magagkamack Churchyard to its current and admirable level.
Spearheaded by Deerpark Reformed Church historian and lifelong Port Jervis resident, the late Jerry Walters, this community project remains an ongoing joint effort involving a number of local organizations and individuals.
Besides resetting grave markers and creating tasteful signage, the civic-minded volunteers working to help beautify and improve this hallowed ground have installed rose bushes, trees, and other plants of the type that might have been found during the period in which the churchyard was in operation. In keeping with this historically accurate theme, a "split rail, zigzag fence" similar to what would have been in use during that era has also been erected.
Found among the 250 to 300 individuals buried here are several veterans of the American Revolution. One of these veterans, Martinus Decker, constructed a stone house that was burned during a 1779 raid by British forces and which serves today as a museum for The Minisink Valley Historical Society. The Historical Society also has a directory listing those interred in the churchyard. An online resource features a 1913 book that recorded the cemetery's gravestone inscriptions
Another interesting fact about this historic plot is that it holds what is believed to be the oldest tree in Port Jervis. This tree, found in the right-rear corner of the churchyard, is said to date back some 200 years.
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