Shortly after the Pandemic began in March, Vale Superintendent Clark Adams received a phone call from an area funeral director. He told Clark that the funeral home where he interred had a crisis situation where the crematory in New York City that they usually used was backed up causing a 7-day delay for cremations. Because of the delay the funeral home was storing bodies in a refrigerated trailer on their premises. He wanted to know if Vale could help rectify the situation.
Clark told them he could accommodate 8 bodies if they could be at Vale by 8 A.M. A few days later a Long Island funeral asked if Vale could help with their cremation backlog.
Vale Cemetery is proud to announce its selection as the 2020 Cemetery of Excellence by the American Cemetery & Cremation magazine (ACCM).
The ACCM chose Vale for this prestigious award for its perseverance as an inner city historic cemetery and for its numerous and diverse programs. It acknowledges Vale as a vital social, historical and environmental resource and for its fiscal stability in trying times.
Vale featured in American Cemetery and Cremation.
The lavishly illustrated book, “A History of the Vale – Schenectady’s Historic Cemetery” by Don Rittner is still available. For many years, Don was the Schenectady City and County historian.
In the book, he discusses the Rural Cemetery Movement of the mid 1800’s and the development of special areas in Vale Cemetery (Potter’s Field, African American Ancestral Burial Ground, Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery, Millionaires’ Row, the Urban Farm and the Ahmadiya Muslim Cemetery). Each is described and their history explained.
“A History of the Vale – Schenectady’s Historic Cemetery” by Don Rittner
The Schenectady Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution continue work on their project to update the cemetery database. One of the objectives of the DAR is historic preservation, and Vale Cemetery records contain a wealth of information that should be preserved.
Late last fall, a stone was located that did not appear in the cemetery records. Further investigation of the area led to the discovery of 16 additional tombstones that also were not in the records. With permission, these stones were carefully uncovered, many buried deep under the sod.
The cemetery is fortunate to have the Air Force Junior ROTC from Schenectady High School perform volunteer workdays.
In October the students filled the potholes in the dirt road leading to the Green Burial area (The Dell) and planted 6 arborvitae trees along the Moyston Street fence. These trees replaced ones that had been cut down by vandals.
At the Yearly Lot Owners Meeting in June a new slate of board officers were elected. Robert Coan, Board President, resigned and he became an Emeritus board member.
Gordon Zuckerman was elected President of the Vale Board. Mr. Zuckerman is a partner in Murray & Zuckerman Insurance and has served on numerous boards including the Arthritis Foundation, and the Autism Foundation. He has served on the Board of the Niskayuna Volunteer Fire District and the Board of Temple Gates of Heaven, and is a Viet Nam War Veteran.
Vale will observe Memorial Day at 10:30 a.m., May 25th with a formal ceremony.
Taps, a flag raising, and the National Anthem will be on the program. Veterans’ groups representing all military branches will participate. Local dignitaries will speak briefly at the Veterans’ Plot. Participants will assemble at Vale’s main entrance at 907 State St.