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Canajoharie, NY ,

Origin of washed up headstones discovered

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Updated: 9:13 PM


C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- The Fort Plain Police quietly closed an investigation into the origin of a handful of headstones that washed up along the Otsquago Creek banks off Dairy Street in Fort Plain.

When they were first discovered by Schultz and New York State Department of Transportation employees, it was assumed the stones had washed downstream in last year's flood or a subsequent high-water event.

Fort Plain Police Chief Robert Thomas III said that after interviewing the owners of McFee Memorial, Dennis and Marianne McFee, which moved from its Route 80 location just upstream from where the headstones were found in 1995, he believes the headstones came from that property.

While the McFees have run the family-owned business for most of its existence, it was operated by somebody else for 8-10 years, at which point stones were dumped to build up the Otsquago Creek embankment. Stones were even brought in from other manufacturers for this use.

"They were in too perfect condition," to have washed down from an upstream cemetery, said Thomas, noting that the stones had no breaks. During the investigation, which has been labeled "a non-suspicious event", Thomas reached out to Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith, who hypothesized that if the stones hadn't come from McFee Memorials, they may have washed down from an Otsego County cemetery, though Thomas said, "that's a really unlikely event, seeing that the stones weren't even chipped."

Some of the stones had names on them, Thomas said, because they were mistake stones containing misspellings.


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