After visiting the site of the actual fort, I proceeded further north to the Forty Fort Cemetery and Meeting House. I found the gate opened so I entered with my car and slowly drove past the tombstones to the back of the cemetery. I decided to walk around a little even though it was raining pretty hard by that time.
This cemetery is much bigger than I expected. It did suffer greatly with the flood of 1972 and many of the graves were destroyed. The recovery efforts placed them in other cemeteries and a mass grave with a commemorative monument is placed there. It left a portion of the cemetery unused and you could see it because it is very green and has no markers in it. It is a very sad story.
I walked toward the Meeting House and looked inside the windows but it was not revealing much. I turned and the caretaker inquired if I was looking for a grave? I said I did not think I had any family in this cemetery but I did want to see the cemetery for the historical significance The names on the tombstones were the names familiar to me from the histories of the Battle of Wyoming. He showed me Luke Swetland’s grave. I introduced myself and the caretaker said his name was Dave. He was the son of the former caretaker who was very involved in the recovery of the bodies after the flood. Dave was only a small child at the time but he remembers the destruction. He was very kind and friendly, so if you go there and see Dave, say “Hello” from Bonnie.
The Forty Fort Cemetery and Meeting House are located on River Street and Wyoming Avenue. You cannot miss the cemetery for you can see the black iron fencing. River Street meets Wyoming Ave at an angle. Do not get confused by the Forty Fort Park that is along Wyoming Ave and comes up first if you are going north on Wyoming Ave (Hiway 11), keep going and you will find the cemetery tucked behind a big building that is called the Forty-Fort Boroughs Building. Turn right on Wyoming Ave. (11) and you can go into the cemetery.