Country cemetery improving after family exposed overgrown, damaged condition

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ONTARIO COUNTY, N.Y. — A small, country, rundown and overgrown cemetery News10NBC exposed just after Memorial Day is now looking like a cemetery should.

The family who brought it to our attention just shared new video.

The original video shot by Ron Griswold showed Allens Hill cemetery in Bloomfield with toppled headstones, grass that wasn’t cut and trees fallen down and piled up on the side.

In early June, I met Griswold at the cemetery. His parents are buried here as are some cousins, aunts and uncles. It’s also the resting place for a Revolutionary War hero awarded by General George Washington.
It’s owned and managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. The day I told the diocese I was going to the cemetery, a lawn service showed up. The damage was caused by an incredible storm, and the diocese said it had a hard time getting a tree service to could do the job.

Today, Griswold shared new video showing the grass is mowed, many of the damaged trees are gone and the place is peaceful.

“Well, it means that my parents will have a nice place to rest,” Griswold said.

Brean: “What do you feel in your heart and in your gut? What is the feeling now?”
Ronald Griswold: “Happiness. I feel a sense of accomplishment that we were able to get the (Episcopal) diocese to do the improvement on the property. It’s just a much more peaceful feeling when you go into the cemetery. Just peace, that’s the only way I can describe it.”

The state Association of Cemeteries says a report from many years ago found 66 percent of small cemeteries were underfunded, but because in this case the cemetery is affiliated with the church, the association says the church is responsible for the maintenance and repair.