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Issues Ezine

Issues Ezine

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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 today.

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.


Collins Center
Erie County, New York


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 When dealing with history or historical references, one must always realize that the information is only as accurate as the researcher.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

Collins 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.

Pine 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 cemetery.   

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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