Above: Dr. Laurie Rush, Fort Drum Cultural Resources manager, provides insight into the history of Sterlingville during the Lost Villages History Tour on Nov. 8. Right: When Bill Lamb attended the Lost Villages Tour three years ago, he discovered an ancestral tombstone in one of the cemeteries. Since then he has researched his family genealogy but couldn't remember which cemetery he had visited. With help from Karen Koekenberg, Fort Drum Cultural Resources curator, he was able to relocate the site during the tour on Nov. 8, and he also learned that 14 other ancestors were buried in nearby cemeteries. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
Community members explore Fort Drum’s ‘Lost Villages’
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Nov. 13, 2019) – It was part history tour, part nature walk, and nearly 70 community members signed up for the daylong Lost Villages Tour on Nov. 8 at Fort Drum.
The group visited several historic villages and cemeteries situated in Fort Drum training areas, guided by subject-matter experts from both the Cultural Resources and Natural Resources staffs from Public Works’ Environmental Division.
Tour stops included the former Sterlingville Catholic Cemetery, Woods Mill Cemetery, the Lewisburg Iron Furnace and the village of LeRaysville.
During the rapid expansion of Fort Drum (then Pine Camp) in the early 1940s, the former villages of Lewisburg, Woods Mills and Sterlingville were purchased by the U.S. Army and their residents were relocated to surrounding areas.
Along with learning some of the history of the Lost Villages, the tour also provided visitors a better understanding about Fort Drum’s commitment to good stewardship and how the village sites are preserved while still being active training sites.
Some participants said it has been decades since they last visited these restricted areas, while others were learning about the Lost Villages for the first time.
The tour concluded with stops at the 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum Museum and the monuments at Memorial Park.
For more photos, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/drum10thmountain/albums/72157711753889028.