This lovely old church in Carmel,NY has not one, but two old cemeteries associated with it. Despite this I had great difficulty finding any information related to it on the Internet. Eventually I came across: History of Putnam County, New York : with biographical sketches of its prominent men by Pelletreau, William S. (William Smith), 1840-1918 Published 1886. All of the quotations below are from here. I haven’t been able to find anything more recent than 1886. Maybe a trip to the Carmel Historical Society is in order?
The family of Elisha Cole are supposed to have been the first Baptists settled here and his descendants have ever been identified with the church of that denomination. The society is supposed to have been organized about 1770, but for many years there was no meeting house in this vicinity. In the summer time meetings were held in the open air and Elder Elisha Cole preached to numbers gathered from all the country round, while in winter the meetings were held in private houses. Sometime between 1780 and 1785, a building was bought and moved to a place on the west side of the street in Carmel, where the house of the late Lewis Ballard now stands, next south of the horse sheds belonging to the church. This was used till 1806, when a second church was built. This meeting house stood on the small lot south of the present church and on land leased from Frederick Philipse. In the survey of Lot 6 in 1810 the first church is spoken of as having been ” sold and converted into a barn.”
Monuments behind the church.
June 29th, 1821, Frederick Philipse gave to the trustees of the church ” in consideration of his respect for the religious establishment whose temporal concerns are under their care and supervision,” the piece of land now owned by the church, lying on the west side of the road and including the old burying ground, and also the small lot south of the present church on which the second meeting house was then standing.
The church was incorporated February 16th, 1807, the trustees being Barnabas Carver, Joseph Cole and Henry Nichols, and ” the Society then agreed that their house and society be called by the name of Mount Carmel.” The third church was erected in 1836 on land bought of Eli Kelley, November 25th, 1885, and remained till 1869.
In 1867 Rev. William S. Clapp again took charge of the church and has remained its pastor till the present time. The present church was built in 1869 and dedicated March 10th, 1870. The old church was sold to Leonard Yeamans for $405. The pulpit and seats were used for the present Baptist church at Boyd’s Reservoir.
The new church which was built at a cost of $133,000, will seat 600 persons and is an elegant and imposing edifice.
This is the old burial ground – across the road from where the church and its other graveyard stands.