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#016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery

.. after cleanup by members of the Fire Place History Club in September 2008.

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Status: Located

Owner/SourceMarty Van Lith
Date5 September 2008
PlaceDavid Hawkins Cemetery, South Haven, NY

#B016 David Hawkins Cemetery, South Haven Hamlet, Suffolk County, Brookhaven Town, NY, USA

Notes:

This Hawkins Cemetery, often referred to as the "David Hawkins Cemetery," is a trapezoidal plot approximately 69-64 ft. by 78-64 ft. now deep within the boundaries of the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge.  As such, a permit is required to visit it.  It is best to check with the Refuge management ahead of time.  The entrance is at the east center, with an access road from Old Barto Road.  As part of the restoration project described below, this track was reopened, and is now passable with a vehicle.

The Hawkins family farm was on the west side of Little Neck (this Neck is between Little Neck Run on the west and Yaphank Creek on the east), southward from Montauk Highway.  There are two Hawkins family burying grounds on the farmstead -- this site and and a second site more northerly known as the Nathaniel Hawkins cemetery (#39).  This latter burying ground is quite small, has been badly vandalized, and is not easily accessible.  Nathaniel Hawkins was David Hawkins' father.

In 2004, the cemetery was in generally good-fair condition.  At that time, it had recently received some grounds maintenance sponsored by volunteers with the Brookhaven Village Association.  It was visited again in September 2008 by members of the Brookhaven Village Association and its associated Fire Place History Club.  Another old headstone had been broken at the base, possibly by vandalism -- Clarissa Hawkins (b.1828, d.1907). There were then four headstones with actual breaks, seven that should be reset, and three that need to be placed back on their base.   The cemetery appears as if it is not being maintained.  Members of the Fire Place History Club cut brush and mowed, but a program of regular maintenance is required beyond their capabilities.

In the Spring of 2010, the Fire Place History Club using a grant of Caithness Community Benefit Funds from the Town of Brookhaven sponsored a restoration project.  All damaged and toppled  gravestones were repaired and reset by Hollis Warner of Peconic Monument Works, Riverhead, NY.  The previously impassable track to the cemetery from Old Barto Road was reopened.  A general clean-out of the cemetery was performed with volunteer trees and scrub brush removed by volunteers of the Fire Place History Club.  As of this writing, the only remaining work on this project is the repair of the split rail fence.

It is said that Mattie F. (Whitson) Hawkins (wife of Emmett Hawkins, and the last family member to be buried in the cemetery) had some of the old deteriorated gravestones replace with new stones.

This cemetery contains the unmarked grave of Erastus Corning Hawkins, an internationally known engineer. In 1884 he was in charge of construction of the Citizen's Canal, an extensive irrigation project in Colorado. His success with that undertaking brought him many engagements throughout the U.S., on large engineering problems, and led to his selection as the chief engineer to build the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. In 1898 he was Vice President-Chief Engineer and General Manager of the White Pass and Yukon Railroad between Skagway, Alaska and the Yukon, Canada. The White Pass and Yukon Railroad has been designated a National Historic Engineering Site by the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers and the American Civil Engineering Society. In 1907 he became Vice President-Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad in Alaska which ran from Cordova to the Kennecott Copper Mines. He died while on business to New York City.

There are two names which were recorded by Town Historian Osborn Shaw in his c. 1939 hand written inventory of the cemetery which have not been found -- Charles Elmer Russell (1841-1915) and Caroline Elizabeth Price Russell (1846-1914); it is likely that these names are data entry errors.  There relationship to the Hawkins family has not been determined, and there names have not yet been found in other historical records.

This is cemetery No. 16 in the Town of Brookhaven Historian's inventory of cemeteries, and has Brookhaven/South Haven Historic Sites Ref. ID SH01A.1-S.  It has Suffolk County Tax map ID 200-878-01.  It does not appear to have a Town of Brookhaven Department of Parks and Recreation inventory ID.

Relationship Chart of Individuals with Monuments

Headstone Location Chart

This description revised 11 Sep 2013

David Hawkins Cemetery USGS Location Map

Cemetery Photos

   Thumb   Description 
1#016.00 (2004)  David Hawkins Cemetery, February 2004 #016.00 (2004) David Hawkins Cemetery, February 2004
 
2#016.00 (2004)  David Hawkins Cemetery, May 2004 #016.00 (2004) David Hawkins Cemetery, May 2004
.. Clean-up by members of the Fire Place History Club. Pictured is Faith McCutcheon. Stone to far right is #2, Irving and Jennie O. Hawkins. Stone in left foreground is #16, Ann Janette (Beale) Hawkins. 
3#016.00 (2008)  David Hawkins Cemetery #016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery
.. after cleanup by members of the Fire Place History Club in September 2008. 
4#016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery #016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery
.. after cleanup 
5#016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery, September 2008 #016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery, September 2008
.. as it appeared when visited by members of the Brookhaven Village Association and its Fire Place History Club. Pictured is Ron Kinsella. 
6#016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery, September 2008. #016.00 (2008) David Hawkins Cemetery, September 2008.
 
7#016.00 (2010): David Hawkins Cemetery after Restoration, June 2010 #016.00 (2010): David Hawkins Cemetery after Restoration, June 2010
.. taken through a fence rail hole. 
8#016.00 (2010): David Hawkins Cemetery, June 2010 #016.00 (2010): David Hawkins Cemetery, June 2010
.. looking westerly from the entrance. At the time of the picture, the cemetery had not yet been mowed, nor had the fencing been repaired—all tasks the Town of Brookhaven is required to do under New York State Law. 
9#016.00 (2014):  Clearing David Hawkins Cemetery Access Way #016.00 (2014): Clearing David Hawkins Cemetery Access Way
.. Hurricane Sandy in 2013 felled many trees in the Wertheim Wildlife Refuge, including some quite large. Members of the Fire Place History spent several days cleaning brush and two large trees from the cemetery and its access way. Seen here are Richard Thomas (left) and Bob Brown (right) finishing the removal of a the last large tree from the access way allowing a stone mason to repair a fallen and cracked stone, and to install a new grave marker for Erastus Corning Hawkins. 
10#016.Document:  Osborn Shaw's hand written notes, Page 1 #016.Document: Osborn Shaw's hand written notes, Page 1
.. In the late 1930s, the then Town of Brookhaven Historian Osborn Shaw conducted an extensive inventory of all the cemeteries and burying grounds in the Town. The principal objective was to develop a record of births and deaths in the Town prior to their mandatory recording by the Town Clerk in 1881. Therefore, any death after 1881 was not included in the versions of this inventory project that were eventually published as computer printouts.
 
11#016.Document: Osborn Shaw's hand written notes, Page 2 #016.Document: Osborn Shaw's hand written notes, Page 2
.. only the top of the page applies to the David Hawkins Cemetery. The remainder of the page refers to the Azel Hawkins Cemetery, No. 81. Osborne Shaw refers to this as the Deacon Daniel Hawkins Cemetery, Azel's son. 
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