Stolen Grave Marker, Back Where It Belongs

The mystery of baby Frederick Van Wart’s missing grave marker has been solved. The small marker for the infant son of Rachel and Isaac Van Wart–he was one of the captors of Major John Andre, a turning point in the Revolution–was recently found broken into two pieces and partially hidden under a bush at Sparta Cemetery, Ossining, N.Y. After much research, Jane Botticelli and Patty Bassak, who served on the board of the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy (OHCC), concluded that Frederic’s gravestone belonged in the burying ground at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, two miles south of Sparta Cemetery. They reported their discovery to the Friends of Old Dutch. It’s unknown how the grave marker got to Sparta.

The stone has now been brilliantly repaired by stone carver and conservator Robert Carpenter, who unearthed the base from Frederic’s gravesite at Old Dutch and reassembled it with the two pieces found at Sparta. A reinstallation ceremony was held at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow Saturday, June 1. Invited guests included members of the Van Wart families, members of the congregation, Friends of Old Dutch, local history enthusiasts and others. 

For more on this story, including the infant’s father, an important figure in Revolutionary War history, please click here