Volume 4 Edition 8!
I have always had a passion for history,
especially local history. History and genealogy seem to go hand-in-hand, so
I have decided to run articles on the history of Collins and Collins Center and
include a variety of genealogical research that I have completed, or in some
cases begun, on the residents that made our little community what it is
We shall take our first look at the Town
of Collins Cemeteries. There are so many cemeteries, both in use and
abandoned within the town, that this will be divided into at least two
parts. We shall start with a discussion on the active burial grounds within
the Town of Collins.
There are several burial grounds within the Town of Collins, several
residents of the Hamlet of Collins Center are buried amongst these cemeteries.
Of the several burial locations within the town, there remains only four which
are still active. In researching the Town of Collins I have utilized three major
works: The History of the Original Town of Concord written by
Erasmus Briggs in 1883, The Alnorca Series, written during the
1930's by Alice Stewart the "AL," Nora Brown the "NOR," and
Carlotta Wood the "CA," and finally The Collins Story
written by L K Painter in 1962. When dealing with history or historical
references, one must always realize that the information is only as accurate as
the researcher. While I would normally tend to locate the source or primary
information on my own, my leg keeps me from to extensive activity. Prior to this
time, I utilized the three works and found this to be true, Briggs relied mainly
on the recollections of local residents for his history, but oral interviews are
often the best, and his research has left the area with a distinct look at the
pioneer days. ALNORCA presented not only recollections, but cold, hard facts in
their research. I have never discovered even a remote sway in the articles they
had written, they were well researched and documented. L.K. Painter seemed
extremely biased in his history and I have often found his research to be
inaccurate, so please, keep this in mind as you read through my Collins -
Collins Center research.
Collins Center Cemetery
Center Cemetery, which is located at the west end of the limits of the
hamlet of Collins Center, on Route 39. It is one of the four burial
grounds which remains active in the Town of Collins today. According to ALNORCA,
George King gave the land which was the beginning of the Collins Center cemetery
to the town in 1835, Painter claims it was Nathan King who gave the land. This
is a difficult issue to argue since most documentation from that time period was
destroyed in a fire at the town hall near the turn of the century.
Additions have been made from time to time, such was the gift of
John Auwerter Mrs. Charles Goodyear of Buffalo gave the original iron and
stone entrance, which is still utilized today.
The Collins Center Cemetery was also bequeathed land, property and monies by
Fred Bruce upon his death in 1938 to assure that his grave as well as the graves
of his family would always be cared for. Fred Bruce will be one of Issues
Ezine's upcoming biographies.
Pine Hill Cemetery
Pine Hill cemetery is the largest in the town of Collins. The 12
acre tract was the gift of Joseph Plumb to the village of
Gowanda in 1867.
The cemetery is located at the top of Cemetery Hill Road
just outside the Village of Gowanda within the Town of Collins. Amongst
those buried at Pine Hill Cemetery include James
Calvin Rhodes, a pastor from Western Pennsylvania.
Pine Grove Cemetery
On December 18, 1855, a one acre parcel of land was deeded from Stephen and
Waity Southwick. Some claim the land was deeded directly as a cemetery, others claim it became a gift from Joshua Allen, to his
community. Either way, 1855 marks the creation of the only active Quaker burial ground within the
Town of Collins.
Grove cemetery at Rosenberg four corners, or the intersection of
Gowanda Zoar Road, Vail Road and Quaker Street. Generations of the Allen family
have been laid to rest in what some older residents refer to as
"God's Acre," beginning with Zoeth Allen, a Revolutionary War soldier.
A cemetery association was organized in 1856 to assure the upkeep of the
Holy Cross Cemetery
The final active cemetery in the area is the Holy Cross
Cemetery, which is maintained by St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in
Gowanda, NY. Holy Cross is located adjacent to Pine Hill Cemetery, a
newer section is situated directly across the road.
Please note, that the links provided will give only partial information.
I have recently visited these cemeteries and I realize that the burial
information is in great need of update. I will attempt to update this
information, for those of you researching your family history, I am sure
that the necessity of adequate records is truly understood.
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More Genealogical Resource Pages can be located via the Archives.