Three famous people buried in Adirondacks

Graves of Upstate New York
Graves of Upstate New York, by Chuck D’Imperio

Syracuse University Press recently sent us one of its new books, Graves of Upstate New York by Chuck D’Imperio.

The book provides brief biographies of one hundred notable personages buried in upstate New York, which the author defines as all of the state north of New York City. It also describes how to get to each of the gravesites.

Part three of the book is titled “Adirondacks and North Country.” It features ten people, but only three of them are buried within the Blue Line.

Can you guess who they are?

OK, I’ll tell you.

John Brown. The fiery abolitionist is buried on his farm just outside the village of Lake Placid. Brown was hanged in December 1859 for leading the raid on a military depot in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, earlier in the same year. The farm and graveyard are a New York State Historical Site.

Kate Smith. The beloved singer is entombed in a mausoleum at St. Agnes Cemetery in Lake Placid. Famous for her rendition of “God Bless America,” Smith owned a summer camp on Buck Island on Lake Placid (the lake). She died in 1986 at age seventy-nine.

Johnny Podres. The All-Star pitcher grew up in Moriah, in the eastern Adirondacks, and is buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in his hometown. Podres won fame in the 1955 World Series, winning two games for the Brooklyn Dodgers over the New York Yankees, including a 2-0 shutout in the decisive seventh game. He died in 2008 at age seventy-five.

Another person featured in the book is Grace Brown, whose murder at Big Moose Lake in 1906 at the hands of her lover, Chester Gillette, inspired Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy. The book, in turn, inspired the film A Place in the Sun starring Shelley Winters. Gillette was electrocuted after a trial. Brown was twenty years old. She is buried in Valley View Cemetery in South Otselic in Chenango County.

Click here to find out more about Graves of Upstate New York.


About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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