Restore Slingerland Burial Vault

$1,340 of $112,200 goal

Raised by 18 people in 3 months
The Slingerland Family Burial Vault , the sacred resting place of the family for which the village of Slingerlands is named, is located in the Historic District of Slingerlands, NY.

Over the years, this burial vault has been sorely neglected and vandalized.  The stone front of the vault is in disrepair, the vault is currently open to the elements, and tree growth has disrupted the posts.  Saving the Slingerland vault  was covered on the front page of The Albany Times Union in early 2018.

In the fall of 2017, The Friends of the Slingerland Family Burial Vault was established to facilitate securing, restoring and maintaining the vault site.  Below are preliminary estimates for stabilizing and protecting the vault while retaining the vault’s historic character.  These estimates do not include labor and materials provided by the Town.

$50,000  Rebuild stonework at front of vault
$10,000  Replacement of vault door (current door is beyond restoration)
$3,000  Replacement of vault identifying entablature
$10,000  Restoration of entrance (re-set pillars, replace chain, address drainage concerns)
$13,000  Installation of perimeter fence
$1,200  Historical marker
$25,000  Analyze and repair depression on top of vault
$112,200  Total

Funds remaining after the above efforts will be used for aesthetics, such as landscaping, informational kiosk or a walkable path to the site.

Tree removal will be covered under the town’s budget as well as site work to prepare for the masons hired to restore the stonework at the front of the vault. 

With your help, we can restore the vault for future generations to appreciate.  The Slingerland Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization.  Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help with the restoration of this landmark.

In 1852, brothers John I. and William H. Slingerland erected the burial vault as a tribute to their father, John A. who died in 1850.

John I. Slingerland  served in the US House of Representatives and the NYS Assembly.  His causes include the Homestead Act, the abolitionist movement, and the Anti-Rent Party.  In the early 1940’s, historian Henry Christman wrote in a letter to John I.’s daughter “...he introduced a Homestead Act which was killed, but which under Lincoln became law 14 years later. The Act, passed in Mr. Slingerland's time as a member of the house (1848-1850), might have averted the Civil War."

William H. Slingerland also served in the NYS Assembly but was more widely known as a surveyor and civil engineer.  The dangerous stone ceiling of the Chamber in the NYS Capitol building was replaced with wood due to his efforts.  He organized the Suburban Water Company which provided Slingerlands with spring water from the Helderbergs.  In 1927, the Town of Bethlehem purchased his company to form their water district.

The following are memorialized in the vault:

John A. (1768-1850)
     His wife Leah Britt (1776-1863)
John I. (1804-1861)
     His wife Sally Hall (1813-1874)
William H. (1820-1910)
     His wife Elizabeth Wayne (1818-1868)
     His son James W. (1855-1857)
     His daughter Helene (1853-1884)
     His son John H. (1844-1914)
     His grandson Charles Arthur (1881-1883)

We appreciate any amount you can contribute to restore this historical site!
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We have had a very busy few months! The Town of Bethlehem has removed trees and stumps, and regraded the entrance to the vault. The vault is now accessible over a crushed stone path. Bethlehem Town Supervisor David VanLuven visited the site with Albany County Legislators William Reinhardt and Andrew Joyce who wanted to learn more about the project. Archaeologists Dan Mazeau and Sean Higgins cleared the floor of the vault, recovering several artifacts which they are busy cataloging. We were amazed to find a concrete floor when they were done!
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Larry Rulison of the Albany Times Union provided this great video which shows the freshly groomed right of way to the vault. Thanks goes to the Town of Bethlehem for their great work!
Video provided by Larry Ruilison
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Read a Previous Update

$1,340 of $112,200 goal

Raised by 18 people in 3 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Slingerland Foundation
  Certified Charity
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Providence, RI
EIN: 146102644
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Alice Slingerland
2 months ago
Scot Asher
2 months ago
Kimberly Reilly
2 months ago
Bob & Phyllis Zimmerman
2 months ago
Pam and Don Robbins
2 months ago
David VanLuven
3 months ago
Joan Roy
3 months ago
Susan Leath
3 months ago
3 months ago
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