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Potter's Field

Across a small wooden bridge in the northwestern corner of Oakwood Cemetery is the place known historically as "potter's field". (See the cemetery map)

They were once common in cemeteries - places where struggling families, unable to afford lots in the cemetery proper, could lay their loved ones to rest. It was also a place where individuals, unknown or unclaimed, were buried by the local authorities.

It is not known when Oakwood's "Potter's Field" was first established. It doesn't appear on the 1865 cemetery map, and is separated from the rest of the grounds by a small stream. It wasn't even clear that there were graves there - all that was remembered was the section's name and vague references to burials. The lone marker on the mowed field is an old GAR flag holder which stands along one edge. Local veteran annual place an American flag in it in the spring.

Research has recently resulted in the discovery of records of seven burials in this section of the cemetery. The names appear for the first time below with the hope that descendants and other visitors will visit this quiet place, and honor the memory of those who once were forgotten.

May these individuals and those yet unknown rest in peace.


Potter's Field, Oakwood Cemetery

Taken from Oakwood Cemetery Records by Tom Cook, January 2011

Please Note: The exact locations of the graves is not known. Information and comments in parenthesis has been added and did not appear in the original record.

Bailey, Reuben; aged 48, died July 4, 1924. (Reports in the Nunda News indicate that he was a worker at a lumber camp near Big Bend in present day Letchworth Park. After celebrating for much of day, Mr. Bailey fell 250 to his death. Although it was rumored he had come from Hornell, his remains were not claimed.)

Cassady, Orris K, died Oct 24, 1900

LaBore, Charles Wm; 2 months old, died September 10, 1909

McCaughy, Francis; 4 months old, died January 6, 1906

Slater, William; 7 days old, died January 1905

Smith, George; died September 13, 1905

Spencer, Lizzie Bell; 11 months old, March 2, 1904