Henry Wagman died 200 years ago yesterday. Our neighbors discovered his grave up on an old logging road between our two properties and went there yesterday to lay a wreath and remember someone who had been completely forgotten for years.
The first I knew of him was in a reference in a History of Gravestones in Dutchess County by J. Wilson Poucher MD and Helen Wilkinson Reynolds who gathered the inscriptions of all the burial grounds in Dutchess County from April 1911 until 1916. They went to every township in Dutchess County and recorded the names on the stones. Their description of the little cemetery was as follows:
Location: East of North Clove, on the farm of James Pearson near the top of the mountain
Condition: Aruined stone wall surrounds a rough inclosure filled with brush and saplings
nscriptions: i in number Copied September 8,1914
Remarks: Van Wagenen Ground. Only one stone remaining in the family enclosure where, originally (within the memory of one now living there were many.
The old farm house which appeared on the earliest maps was called the Van Wagenen fam, an old Dutch Hudson Valley family name, and I think Henry’s original name was the same. The farmhouse which is still standing, about 1/2 mile further to the North, was built in 1803.
When the frost comes out of the ground next spring we are going to get a strong metal bar and poke around to see if we can find any more stones. The idea that in 1914 there was an old timer who remembered that there were more stones is fascinating. Think about it. If the person who remembered the other stones was 80 at the time, he or she had been born in the 1830s!