The General Ellis Cemetery was rededicated this summer following a lengthy restoration process. One of Onondaga County’s oldest cemeteries was restored and preserved by Onondaga Community College with the help of generous donors. The cemetery is located on a hillside above Onondaga Road, across the street from Mulroy Hall, as indicated by a blue historical marker on the shoulder of the road. The cemetery is named after General John Ellis who moved to Onondaga Hill when it was a wilderness. He was a Revolutionary War veteran who came here in the 1780’s from Massachusetts. The first burial in the cemetery was recorded in 1798.
As part of the restoration the headstones were removed, repaired, and restored. Before and after pictures of the headstones, which are attached, show the remarkable work that was done. Other restoration to the site included repairing ground cover and correcting erosion, removing and pruning trees, and restoring the black wrought iron fencing that surrounds the cemetery to its natural look. A large bronze plaque commemorating General Ellis and the rich history at the site and in appreciation of the project donors has been placed at the fence.
Onondaga students and faculty continue to visit the site as part of classroom study. Several groups collaborated on the project including Onondaga staff, the Onondaga Historical Association, the Town of Onondaga Historical Society, and local community subject matter experts. Funding for this project was made possible through the generosity of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, the Sons of the American Revolution, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and its local chapters; Fayetteville-Owahgena, General Asa Danforth, and Syracuse, and the District O Central New York Roundtable.
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