Bayside Cemetery: Photographs and Thoughts

For most of the month of October, I was on vacation with my boyfriend in Austria. Before I start sharing all the highlights of that trip, I wanted to focus on one of the local cemeteries before the month is over. The cemetery that I frequent is Bayside Cemetery, which is located slightly outside of Potsdam on the Back Hannawa Road. A majority of the cemetery overlooks the Raquette River.

Cemeteries are interesting places to investigate and photograph. For me, cemeteries seem timeless: life is moving outside the cemetery gates but within, it just seems kind of at a standstill. The stones represent not just people but specific moments in time: birth, death, and maybe an achievement. It’s probably my own morbid curiosity but I wonder what my headstone will say someday, and if a curious passerby will take photos of it and wonder who I was.

When I walk through the tree lined lanes and past the moss covered headstones of Bayside, lots of feelings run through my mind.

Silence.

Beauty.

Remembrance.

Loneliness.

Peace.

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I don’t want to delve a lot into the history of Bayside because I really want the focus of this post to be the above photos and the importance of cemeteries to our local history. The shortened version of Bayside’s history is that it was established in 1865. It is considered a “rural cemetery” because of its landscaped, park-like layout designed by Boston architect and surveyor, Luther Briggs. When it was finally finished, about 720 graves were moved from earlier cemeteries that had once been within the village of Potsdam on Willow Street and Pierrepont Avenue.

For more information on Bayside Cemetery, visit their website. They have a lot of great information on the history of the cemetery and the work that the Bayside Cemetery Association is doing to maintain the property: http://www.baysidepotsdam.org/.

If you have any thoughts or want to share your thoughts about your own local cemetery, just leave a comment below! Thanks for reading.

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