News From Vale

December 03, 2013
balsam wreath image

As one of only two annual fundraisers, Vale Cemetery is once again offering Holiday Wreaths.

There are two sizes available, 22" and 32" inch and they a priced at $35 and $100 respectively.

All wreaths are fresh cut Balsam and will be placed on the plot(s)you specify.

You can download an order form or contact the cemetery office at (518) 346-0423 during normal business hours for more information.

Also available for download is the Fall 2013 Newsletter in PDF format.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to an infrequent -- not more than a few times a year -- electronic newsletter.

September 06, 2013

Clark Adams has served Vale Cemetery for more than 20 years – and as superintendent since 2006.

His family lived in the Vale neighborhood and he began working part-time here while still in high school. Even as he continued his education at Union College, Clark became coordinator of the part-time workers. After earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, he advanced to foreman at Vale.

Breadth of Historical Knowledge

His lifelong acquaintance with Vale has resulted in his wealth of information about the cemetery and an encyclopedic knowledge of the thousands of gravesites. For example, he remembers what year each cemetery section was opened and knows the underground labyrinth of the utility and water lines. Helping those grieving

Clark is a hands-on supervisor at the crematory and a scrupulous record-keeper in strict compliance with State regulations. His reputation with Capital Region funeral directors and many outside the area is one of accountability, consistency, and compassion. He often helps them meet the special needs of grieving families. It is not uncommon for him to come in after hours – nights, weekends, or holidays – to help funeral directors or out-of-town relatives of the deceased.

Clark and his small but capable staff can be depended upon to keep the crematory operating, the cemetery equipment well maintained, the cemetery roads plowed, and the finances in proper order.

September 03, 2013

Vale is developing a green burial section, The Dell at Vale, to accommodate those desiring a natural, simple, back-to-the-elements, final resting place.

The “green burial” option is gaining national popularity and wider acceptance as individuals embrace this method of final disposition for many reasons.

The “Traditional” Way

Many people prefer the eco-friendly methods used before embalming. Typically, a green burial is when the body is returned directly to the soil in a way that doesn’t inhibit the natural decomposition process.

Not Just for Green Thinkers

Along with the “back to nature”-type thinkers, there are those who oppose the large permanent monuments and expensively maintained cemetery landscapes whose upkeep require the use of herbicides, fertilizers, and gasoline-powered equipment.

The ecology movement promotes natural burial in a wildflower meadow setting. Nationwide, green burial areas are being developed in established cemeteries and as exclusive burial sites.

Architect/Vale board member, Frank Gilmore, proved instrumental in designing The Dell. He supervised the construction, landscaping, the selection and placement of trees and wildflowers, and laid out the paths and berms.

May 08, 2013

Since 1866 we have honored the memories of our loved ones who have served in all the wars and most especially, those who made the ultimate sacrifice to our country. It is also a time to remember departed friends and family.

Again this year, Vale is offering to plant potted red geraniums (three plants per pot) on specified graves, which will last through the summer. The first pot purchase is $35 and each additional pot is $25. The price includes the planting and careful maintenance of the entire plot. Two or more pots are recommended.

For more information or to purchase pots, you can download an order form or contact the Vale office at: (518) 346-0423.

April 25, 2013

Metroland recently published an article highlighting Vales commitment to green burials. From the article:

In June of this year, Schenectady’s historic—and nondenominational—Vale Cemetery will offer the second green burial option in the area. Though Vale opened in 1857, there is enough space on its rambling, bucolic grounds to accommodate new burials for a couple of centuries. (Vale currently buries between 30 and 50 people per year, and averages 100 cremated remains per month.) And a beautiful dell on the property is being turned into a meadow for green burials.

April 18, 2013

You can become a VIP (Vale Important Patron) with a membership in Vale Patrons.

You will receive:
Two newsletters a year
Free tickets for all public tours
Notice of Vale Cemetery Board meetings

Membership levels and fees:
Individual – $25
Family – $50
Supporting – $150
Benefactor – $1000

Please contact Vale’s office for details at 346-0423.

December 12, 2012

The "Transition Network" will garden in Vale for four years, Roots & Wisdom, a program about growing produce and teaching inner-city youths about agriculture and nutrition, maintained a large garden plot in Vale. However, the program was downsized due to decreased financial support, which now leaves some space for other gardening projects.

Schenectady Transitions Network, a group concerned with organic farming and self -sufficiency through locally grown food, is now using some of that growing space.

Winter wheat was planted and in the spring vegetables will be planted. Excess produce will go to the Farmers’ Market and Food Pantry.

For details about Transitions, visit

December 01, 2012
Moses Viney

The National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom has announced that Vale Cemetery will be included in its historic itinerary. Vale is the resting place of Moses Viney, a runaway slave from Maryland who became Union College President Eliphalet Nott’s chauffeur and confidant.

Upon Nott’s death, Viney received a bequest from Nott that enabled him to establish a livery business and subsequently became a highly respected businessman in the community. In addition to Viney, Richard P.G. Wright, a documented Underground Railroad agent, is also interred in Vale as are abolitionists, Rev. Isaac Groot Duryea, John Wendell, and Francis Dana.

Erica Fugger, a Union College student intern, researched Vale Cemetery’s application to the National Park Service.

Inclusion on the Park Services’ list of recognized sites is expected to increase tourist and Underground Railroad scholars’ visits to Vale and should enhance Vale’s chances of qualifying for future historical grants.

June 28, 2012

Thanks to financial support from the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners, Fenimore Asset Management Foundation, and Metroplex, Phase II of the Urban Loop Bike Path in Vale was completed in October. An additional stretch was paved along Millionaires’ Row and the Social Service section.

This will allow the hundreds of Stockadathon runners to enter Vale Park at Nott Terrace and exit Vale Cemetery at Brandywine Avenue. Moving the race from State Street reduces the need for additional police at several intersections and decreases traffic patterns that negatively impact church attendance along the course (note: The run is usually held on Sundays). Many Stockadathon runners lauded these improvements to the course.

The Stockadathon is one of the older 15k running events on the East Coast and draws entrants from a wide geographic area.

The Bike Path Downtown Loop enters Vale Park at the Nott Terrace gate after coming up Franklin Street. Passing through Vale Park, it enters the cemetery near the Green Burial area, wending along the road past Millionaires’ Row and the Social Service area, exiting via Brandywine Avenue, continuing up Brandywine to Bradley Boulevard and into Central Park.


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