A financial campaign to return the Batavia Cemetery, a 167-year-old burial ground of local and national significance, to deserving condition has been launched by Batavia Cemetery Restoration 90s, a volunteer agency.
Restoration 90s is seeking $20,000 to make repairs and later $200,000 to establish an endowment fund, according Cynthia Lullo, a former Buffalo fund-raiser who has volunteered to guide the drive from its office at 3645 Main St., Batavia, 14020..
Among the 4,000 graves in the Batavia Cemetery off Harvester Avenue are those of Joseph Ellicott, the Holland Land Co. surveyor who founded Buffalo and Batavia; Dean Richmond, the Batavian who became president of the New York Central Railroad, and veterans of all American wars.
In 1982, Batavia residents financed construction of a handsome monument to the nation's military dead. In addition, a statue recalls William Morgan, the onetime Batavia weekly newspaper editor whose early 19th century threats to publish the secrets and rituals of Freemasonry led to his kidnapping and launched the bigoted Know-Nothing movement in America.
The drive was started because the cemetery association's income from its existing endowment only has about $2,500 a year for maintenance.