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Hamburg continues cemetery payments

Prospect Lawn Cemetery, the final resting place for veterans of every American conflict, is getting help from the Town of Hamburg for a seventh year.

The financially ailing cemetery first appealed to the town in 2010, which agreed to pay the cemetery association $1,000 a month. The stipend was upped to $1,500, or $18,000 a year, last year, and Town Board members have decided to continue it for another year.

The alternative could see the town taking over all the operations for the cemetery. Under state law, if the cemetery went out of business, the town would be responsible for operating it.

The cemetery, with 18.5 acres on the east and west sides of Pierce Avenue (Route 62), was established in 1878.

Several factors caused financial problems, including a maintenance fund that did not earn much interest, and the changing society where most burial plots are no longer bought in advance.

The cemetery is the final resting place of two Revolutionary War veterans, 53 Civil War soldiers and veterans of every other American war and conflict, including the war in Afghanistan.

It also contains the graves of many local notable figures and a few nationally known, including E. Howard Hunt, a Hamburg native who helped organize the 1972 Watergate break-in, and the maternal grandparents of Katharine Hepburn.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com

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