Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Cemetery / Thanks

Posted in History, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 28/02/2014

Last February, Craig Williams and I were at Willard shooting the attic where the suitcases were “rediscovered. (Here’s a link to an earlier post)  There aren’t many of these upright metal markers left.

After we were done, we walked across the road to the cemetery.  It is always very moving to see the field where many of the Willard patients are buried in numbered graves.  And interesting to note that starting in the late 1930s, and ending just before he died 1968, a patient named Lawrence M  was the primary gravedigger.  Amazing.

I have posted before about the cemetery and the people who are working diligently to honor the dead by attaching names to the numbers.  Click here and here to read those previous posts.

Thanks for all the tremendous response to my “appeal” post the other night. We are at $14,000 on the Kickstarter appeal, and I am feeling very positive.

7 Responses

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  1. careofny said, on 28/02/2014 at 11:48 am

    Jon- The state must have the corresponding numbers. In the 70’s I would have to put a time capsule in each coffin. There was no vault. Just a hole dug by the back hoe. It was a large test tube about 4.5 inches long. It had a cork that sealed the end with this red substance that the cork was dipped in. Inside the clear glass tube there was documentation. Now that’s what they did in the 70’s- john

    • joncrispin said, on 28/02/2014 at 3:46 pm

      John, Wow, I had no idea about the test tubes. That is just amazing. We HAVE to talk sometime. I’d be happy to stop by anytime soon. Thanks so much for all your input. Jon

      • lsstuhler said, on 04/03/2014 at 4:52 pm

        Hi Jon, Is there any way that I can email John? I clicked on his name but it wouldn’t let me see who he is. I would love to speak to him about this. Thanks! -Lin

    • lsstuhler said, on 28/02/2014 at 4:11 pm


  2. Laurel Huber said, on 01/03/2014 at 10:41 am

    Love this and everything about the Willard project. Just posted your Kickstarter appeal on FB – maybe a few more donations will result. Good luck.

  3. […] I have written often about the issue of names in relation to my suitcases project.  Especially how the State of New York prohibits the use of full names of the patients in respect to my work and in regards to the hospital cemeteries. […]

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