2005 Aerial


This aerial photograph, taken in 2005, shows Maplewood Cemetery and Middle Road before the recent expansion project.

By James Battaglia, staff writer

Messenger Post

Posted Apr 17, 2013 @ 03:13 PM

2011 Aerial

Project to expand Maplewood Cemetery

Henrietta’s Maplewood Cemetery opened in 1896.

This year, an expansion project will keep it from running out of room.


Rochester, N.Y. —

A big job is nearly finished at Maplewood Cemetery in Henrietta, where, since 2006, the Maplewood Cemetery Association (MCA) has been hard at work on the first major expansion effort to take land that it already owned and convert it to something to keep the cemetery viable.

Room for over 900 new graves has been added to the historic cemetery. The new section —phase one of three— will open in June.

"It was more than just finding someone to bring in dirt," Gary Stockmaster, Director of the MCA, said about the lengthy process of converting the land. Though the association already owned the property, it was covered in trees, scrub brush, and drainage from buildings that had been erected along Middle Road since the cemetery was incorporated.

"It was really a mess," He said. "We weren't sure we were going to be able to recover it at first."

Before recovery could begin, the association needed to obtain the necessary permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation — a process Stockmaster said was the most difficult part of the expansion. Much of the land — including some with 100-year-old graves on it— had been reclassified as unusable wetland after the cemetery was opened, and it took the MCA two years to get permission to use it.

"They seemed to have forgotten they were talking to a cemetery," Stockmaster said. "As soon as you put the question to them directly —'Really, you want to move someone who got buried there in the 1800s?'— they said 'Let's not be rash.'"

After the MCA obtained permission to renovate the land, clearing began in 2008. During this time, some residents expressed concern that the construction they passed on Middle Road would end up being another store.

This aerial photograph, taken in 2011, shows Maplewood Cemetery in the midst of its recent expansion project. The project will be complete this June

A new road was built through the land in 2009 and paved in 2012, and new lawns, trees, and gardens were installed on the property. The expansion also includes the first new cremation area in the cemetery since its opening.

While Stockmaster estimates the next sections of the newly-opened area won't need to be surveyed for up to 10 years, an Eagle Scout project will begin this month to beautify Phase II land.

"We are open and ready for several decades to come," he said.

See more about the development project in pictures.......