“Great Graves” Topic of Guilford Historical Society Social

Join the GHS for a great presentation by author Chuck D’Imperio on the “Great Graves of Upstate New York”. It all takes place on Saturday, February 14th at the Guilford United Methodist Church at 12:00 – 3:00. There will be socializing and luncheon from 12:00 to 1:00 with the presentation beginning at 1:00. The program highlights Chuck’s research for his book and his presentation of the subject is sometimes funny although the topic seems grim. As we know, many people, as we have done, actually enjoy strolling through a cemetery. There are few spots as peaceful and well kept, and they can lend the visitor a sense of the past and thoughts of eternity. They can also teach about history and biography. It’s amazing who you can meet there (in a manner of speaking).

Chuck D’Imperio has visited cemeteries large and small across upstate New York. His quest (he refers to it as a hobby) began after the interment of his 99-year old grandfather at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, just down the path from Mark Twain. Soon Chuck was plodding through small country graveyards and leafy, expansive memorial gardens across upstate New York to find the notable as well as those noteworthy but forgotten. His book “Great Graves of Upstate New York” tells about seventy legendary individuals, from actresses Lucille Ball (buried in her hometown of Jamestown) and Helen Hayes (in her adopted community of Nyack) to industrialists George F. Johnson (Endicott) and Andrew Carnagie (Sleepy Hollow), writer Rod Sterling (Interlaken), aviator Glenn Curtiss (Hammondsport) and abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Auburn).

Some of the persons profiled by D’Imperio had obvious ties to New York, like author James Fenimore Cooper (Cooperstown) and Governor Samuel Tilden (New Lebanon). But there are also many whose New York connection is not often appreciated. The Wells Forgo stagecoaches opened America’s western frontier and the company is still headquartered in San Francisco, but William Fargo (Buffalo) and Henry Wells (Aurora, close to the campus of Wells College, which he founded) started their business with a delivery route between Albany and Buffalo.

“Big Chuck” D’Imperio (who is alive and well and living in Oneonta) is a broadcaster and writer. He and his wife Trish also operate Cooperstown Walks providing guided tours of that historic village.

The author spent a decade touring upstate cemeteries to write “Great Graves of Upstate New York.”. So join us February 14th at 12:00 noon to 3:00 at the Guilford Methodist Church for a free luncheon, socializing, raffles-valentine cake and more, displays and GHS sale items.

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