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|Video: Martinsburg Historical Society Holds Ceremony
to Honor Civil War Veterans at Maple Ridge Cemetery
October 05, 2019 05:45 p.m. By: Nick Altmire
afternoon at the Maple Ridge Cemetery, also the site of the former St. Patrick's
Roman Catholic Church on Maple Ridge in the Town of Matinsburg.
The Martinsburg Historical Society started a restoration project at the site in
The St. Patrick's church was completed in 1860, atop one of the highest points of
the Tug Hill, and was large enough to seat 400 worshipers. At the time, the
location was home to a large community of Irish immigrants. By 1873 the church
had 312 members, according to information provided by the Martinsburg
By the mid 1920s, the ethnic population on Maple Ridge was changing, with the
Irish population dwindling and people of Polish descent moving into the area.
After that point, people began moving away from "the ridge" to places where
everyday living was easier, according to historians. With attendance on the
decline, the church was closed in 1941 and sold at auction in 1944. All that
remains of the church today are the steps and portions of the iron fence. The
tabernacle from the original church, found in a field in the 1970s, is currently in
possession of the Lewis County Historical Society and was on display this
Through the generosity of the Pomeroy Foundation in Syracuse, a road sign was
unveiled today designating the site of the church.
Burials at the Maple Ridge Cemetery began in 1861, shortly after the church was
completed. The last burial was in 1943, until a special request was made by the
family of Sgt. Patrick O'Brien, a veteran of World War II. It was his desire to be
buried at Maple Ridge and his wish was honored in 1995.
Maple Ridge Cemetery is the final resting place for a number of Civil War
soldiers, recognized at today's ceremony, including:
Dennis Dunn- 5th New York Heavy Artillery
John Lynch, Jr.- 5th New York Heavy Artillery
James McGrath- 5th New York Heavy Artillery
Thomas Purcell- 97th New York Infantry
John P. Smithling- 5th New York Heavy Artillery
Michael Sullivan- 5th New York Heavy Artillery
Full video from today's ceremony is included below. The ceremony starts with the
Posting of the Colors by American Legion Post 162 and Marine Corps League
754; followed by a Salute to the American Flag; National Anthem; Invocation;
Wreaths of Honor placed at the graves of the Civil War Soldiers; A Roll Call and
Gun Salute; Benediction; and concluding with the unveiling of the sign.