The Full Story
The cemetery is a pre-Victorian-age cemetery established in 1804, about 34 years before Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY. It is the final resting spot of more than 130+ veterans from all wars—from the French and Indian War to the Gulf War. Like many rural cemeteries, it is not owned by a town or village. The North Bloomfield Cemetery is operated entirely by volunteers and without any town or state monies.
The Gates Family
The first burial was an infant daughter of the Gates family in 1804. She was buried on the family burying ground. This burial ground was donated to the community in 1870. Additional land was donated by the Gates in 1883. More land was donated by the Wells in 1964 and more land in 1989 by the Bauchles. Additional extensions to the property have been donated by Tom Tenny in the 2010s. Currently, the cemetery covers about 2.33 acres of wooded and open space.
Caption (image left): This plaque reads "1795 - 1930 Gates This boulder came from the old homestead. The Gates Family (donors of this cemetery) settled here in 1790".
Our Connection to Veterans
There are over 1,300 burials at North Bloomfield Cemetery. Of these, more than 130+ are veterans, who served in the French and Indian War (1754 – 1763) to the Gulf War (1991). There are also a number of cenotaph graves (a grave marker but no body interred). These include a veteran of the Civil War buried at Bull Run, one buried in Korea, and those who are MIA.
In August 2009, the Canandaigua Chapter of the NYS Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) held a ceremony to install a marker next to the grave of Florilla Swetland Pierce, who was a “real daughter,” a woman who was a member of the DAR and whose father was a soldier in the war. There are only 766 real daughters identified.
The North Bloomfield Cemetery has two monuments that are made of cast zinc, known as “zinkies”. These blue-gray monuments were made by the Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, CT, the only company that manufactured these unique cemetery markers. The company was in business from 1874 to 1914 and was shut down because the foundry and zinc were needed for the war effort of World War I. The monuments were offered by sales agents, as well as through catalogs with over 500 designs ranging from 4 inches to 25 feet tall. The distinctive monuments are hollow with panels that are screwed on and customized with the family names, dates, and designs. Even though the company had stopped making monuments, the panels were available until 1939.
Caption (image above): Florilla Swetland Pierce, Patriot: Benjamin Swetland - MA, DAR Real Daughter. Marker placed by Canandaigua Chapter NSDAR 8 August 200
Memorial Day Parade
The North Bloomfield Cemetery hosts the earliest morning Memorial Day Parade in Monroe County every year and includes a reading of all 130+ veterans interred here. The parade begins at 8:30am at the corner of Route 65 and Quaker Meeting House Road, proceeds to the cemetery for the military salute and ceremony, then goes to the North Bloomfield Chapel for refreshments.
Caption (image above): Memorial Day Parade
Caption (image left): Example of a "Zinkie" monument