Bicentennial Cemetery

Leo Dodd watercolor "Birdwatchers" 15"h x 22"w
Leo Dodd watercolor “Birdwatchers” 15″h x 22″w

When lockdown started last spring Jim Mott told us the birder crowd was bad about social-distancing. So desperate to see what others spotted they get right on top of each other and it spooked him. We stopped today to take in some sun while we looked out on the marsh off Hoffman Road. Our neighbor’s daughter walked by and we told her we thought we had seen our first Red-winged Blackbird. She told us she already had. My father was an avid birder and it is his birthday today. This is one of my favorite paintings of his. So descriptive. He perfectly animates the typical birder body type.

We got the new issue of the Historic Brighton newsletter this week. We did their website for many years. My father was one of the founders and the group now has a Leo Dodd Fund they use for preservation projects. They give out an annual Leo Dodd Heritage Preservation Award and this year it is going to Richard Miller for his work a volunteer caretaker of the Brighton Cemetery. At the end of Hoyt Place off Winton Road, the cemetery sits right next to the expressway, which in 1821, was the Erie Canal bed and when they moved the canal it became the subway line. And then the expressway.

Brighton Cemetery photo by Leo Dodd 2014 from his Flickr page
Brighton Cemetery photo by Leo Dodd 2014 from his Flickr page

We wizzed by the cemetery on our way downtown yesterday. You can get a quick look of it from 490 before the trees fill in. The cemetery is older than Brighton or Rochester. The area’s earliest pioneers are buried here. Abner Buckland, Brighton’s brickyard owner, is buried here. Its two acres filled up a long time ago but today it is a pretty oasis full of history. With the help of the “Leo Dodd Fund,” Brighton Cemetery is now a designated landmark of the City of Rochester. A birthday gift to my father!


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