Students in the brick masonry program at Iroquois Job Corps are repairing a deteriorating stone wall at Shelby Cemetery. From left are Ezekiel McAllister of Brooklyn, Sara Huey of Tonawanda, Ibrahim Abdul of New York City and instructor Marty Bryant.
Students in the brick masonry program at Iroquois Job Corps are repairing a deteriorating stone wall at Shelby Cemetery. From left are Ezekiel McAllister of Brooklyn, Sara Huey of Tonawanda, Ibrahim Abdul of New York City and instructor Marty Bryant.
September 20, 2015 2:00 PM CDT

Iroquois Job Center masonry students fixing up Shelby Cemetery

Students repair deteriorating stone wall

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Students in the brick masonry program at Iroquois Job Corps are getting the opportunity to experience the ancient art of stone masonry.

The students are repairing a deteriorating stone wall at the Shelby Cemetery, under the guidance of instructor Marty Bryant.

It has been a slow process, but a learning experience for the students, said Mike Fuller, Shelby highway superintendent.

“For two or three years, we have been looking at that wall, and didn’t know what to do with it,” he said. “The town cares for the cemetery, but didn’t have the resources to hire someone to repair it.”

Someone suggested the Job Corps, and they have been working on the wall off and on all summer. They are supplying the labor, while the town of Shelby provided the necessary materials, Fuller said.

Fuller is excited to see the repairs being made, he said.

“The cemetery is in such a visible area – next to a church and across from the Shelby Fire Hall, which has a lot of activity,” he said.

Town historian Alice Zacher said it always does her heart good to see someone preserve part of history.

“The people buried there are the start of our history here,” Zacher said. “There are a number of Ellicotts buried in the cemetery, which she expects were related to Joseph Ellicott.”

The Ellicotts ran the mills in Shelby in the 1800s, Zacher said.

The cemetery is located on land which was part of the John Ryan farm (now Forrestel Farm). Ryan operated the first quarry in the area.

The first recorded burial in the cemetery was that of Elizabeth Sherman, born 9-17-1813 and died 9-18-1914.

Several burials occurred into the 1900s. It appears the last one was that of Florence Bailey Russell on Dec. 27, 1960.


About the Author

Virginia Kropf is a staff writer for The Daily News.

This article was originally published in The Daily News. This content has been republished with the permission of the publisher.

 

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