Willard Cemetery Memorial Project

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO They’re Buried Where? by Seth Voorhees

Between 1869 and 1890, Willard Asylum for the “Chronic” Insane served the entire State of New York with the exception of New York, Kings, and Monroe Counties. After 1890, Willard State Hospital served the counties of Allegany, Cayuga, Genesee, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates.
1916 Willard State Hospital.

11.28.2014 Restoring Lost Names, Recapturing Lost Dignity.
Willard Cemetery Memorial Project.
Not Forgotten by Colleen Spellecy.
Transcribed Interview with Gunter Mingus and Mike Huff at Willard Cemetery – 9.26.2013 – by Colleen Spellecy.

Willard Cemetery

Willard Cemetery

Willard Cemetery Memorial Project “has grown out of the concern for the 5,776 Willard patients that are buried in unnamed and unremembered graves at Willard Cemetery, Willard, New York, as well as those buried at Ovid Union Cemetery in “Patients Row” and unmarked patients in Holy Cross Cemetery.”

Committee Members include Colleen Kelly Spellecy: Chairperson; Yvonne Greule: President Romulus Historical Museum; Janet Brown: Advocate for Memorial; Sheila Reynolds: Secretary Ovid Union Cemetery; Paulette Likoudis: Trustee Lodi Whittier Library; Gail Snyder: Town of Ovid Historian Advisory Board; Peg Ellsworth: Past President Romulus Historical Society; and Diane Valerio: Chaplain American Legion.

Colleen has done a fabulous job organizing this project: getting the cemetery lawn mowed, creating awareness about the project, collecting donations, and getting a sign installed to let people know that this is a cemetery. She has worked very hard on this project and I know that she will see it through until it is completed! I am sure that as this project progresses this group will need volunteers. Please contact Colleen Spellecy at: cspellecy@rochester.rr.com to find out more information. To make a donation or to find out what you can do to help, please visit Willard Cemetery Memorial Project. Thank you for your interest!

Willard Cemetery 2 - 5.18.2013

Willard Cemetery 2 – 5.18.2013

Willard Cemetery 3 - 5.18.2013

Willard Cemetery 3 – 5.18.2013

Willard Cemetery 4 - 5.18.2013

Willard Cemetery 4 – 5.18.2013


7 thoughts on “Willard Cemetery Memorial Project

  1. more than half of the names on the memorial headstone were not those of forgotten patients, but of beloved members of local families. Such a shame that those wanting to do good did not do proper investigation. Thus breaking the hearts of many families whose names of loved ones appear on the stone. Each and every patient of Willard had a kind and befitting service before they were laid to rest. But obviously those seeking their own recognition did not do due diligence. Perhaps a law suit may be a reminder of their haste and poor judgement. We will see.


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