North Hempstead Receives Grant For Monfort Cemetery Restoration

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    Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte, and the Town Board are proud to announce that the Monfort Cemetery historic preservation project in Port Washington will be a recipient of a $9,600 grant from the Preservation League of New York State. The town has contracted with Burying Ground Preservation Group, Inc. to complete the work.
    “On behalf of the Town of North Hempstead, I thank the Preservation League of New York State for awarding the Town this grant to help with the Town’s restoration of the Monfort Cemetery,” Supervisor DeSena said. “Monfort Cemetery is considered the most historically significant burying ground in the Port Washington community, and this restoration will benefit students and the general public who wish to learn more about the local history of this historic community. With these funds, and in partnership with the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, we will be able to restore this historic cemetery in anticipation of the upcoming 250th Commemoration of the American Revolution.”

    Historic Monfort Cemetery in Port Washington.
    (Photo from the Town of North Hempstead)

    “We are extremely grateful to the Preservation League of New York State for supporting the Town of North Hempstead in our efforts to restore the Monfort Cemetery,” said Councilmember Dalimonte. “From Martin Schenck to members of the Onderdonk family, this location contains the remains of those who helped shape our local history here in North Hempstead. This funding is vital and will allow us to continue our mission to preserve this significant historical landmark so future generations can educate themselves on the rich history of Port Washington and the greater North Hempstead Community.”
    “This grant will enable the Town of North Hempstead to set priorities and budget for the treatment and renovation of the historic Monfort Cemetery,” said Town Historian Ross Lumpkin. “In collaboration with the community, our goal is to create a learning center that serves both students and residents with tours and workshops in anticipation of the 250th commemoration of the American Revolution. Early Dutch settlers interred here include nine revolutionary war heroes, three founders of the Town of North Hempstead, two women who were among the first to free slaves, and the entrepreneur who put Roslyn on the map when he was honored to host President George Washington on his tour of Long Island.”
    The historic preservation project at the Monfort Cemetery is expected to begin in the Fall of 2022. Burying Ground Preservation Group will photographically record, number and assess the conditions of each of the grave markers; make recommendations and set priorities for treatment; and provide cost estimates associated with those recommendations. The town has worked with the Burying Ground Preservation Group for past restoration efforts at the Townsend Cemetery in East Hills.
    At its 2022 meeting, an independent grant panel selected 22 applicants in 18 counties to receive support totaling $235,920. Each grant supports important arts and cultural initiatives, as well as economic development related to our state’s arts and cultural heritage. The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development, and education programs across the state.
    The Monfort Cemetery was declared a town landmark on July 23, 1985 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The Monfort Cemetery has 154 internments from 1737 to 1892 and includes many notable gravesites including members of the Onderdonk, Dodge, Hegeman, Rapelje, and Schenck families. In 2018, the town unveiled a historical marker at the cemetery.
    The Preserve New York grant program is a partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of New York State, made possible by NYSCA with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
    For more information, please call 311 from within the town, or 516-869-6311 from outside the town.
    —Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead

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