The Ashokan Reservoir Becomes a Reality
Frank and Deforest Bishop ran a profitable boarding business, but it did not save them from being the first people to have their house torn down to create the dam for the Ashokan reservoir. It would take them fours years in court to settle their claim against the City of New York.
In total some 2,720 bodies were removed from the floor of the reservoir. Of these bodies, most were identified. However, some 368 remained either unknown or unclaimed. By Agreement 81, these bodies were removed from reservoir property in 1911 by Mathias and Alonzo Burgher and Joseph Hill, and reinterred in the Burgher cemetery at the head of Watson Hollow in new West Shokan. A bluestone marker 12 inches high by 12 inches wide, inscribed with two letters indicating the name of the previous cemetery and a serial number for identification, was set at the head of each grave. For many years afterward, some of these cut stones, which had not been used, remained in the area, leaning against trees or laying unused in fields. To this day, however, over 100 bodies, which were recorded in files as having been buried in particular cemeteries, remain unlocated, and thus now rest somewhere beneath the liquid grasp of Ashokan's waters.
-"Last of the Handmade Dams", by Bob Steuding