Rock City Lutheran celebrates 150 years

On Sunday, September 16th I attended the Rock City Lutheran Church’s 150th anniversary service as a guest of Rhinebeck Town Historian and church organist Nancy Kelly. Congregation founder John G. Schultz donated the land and built the church in 1868. Milan History uploaded an 8mm movie to their youtube channel shot during the Church’s 100th anniversary (see below). I think I recognize only one person (Dick Battenfeld) from what I’ve seen so far. If you know some of the folks in the video, do us a solid and jot the time-elapsed down and email me (see the contact section)!

For my part in the festivities I provided a draft of an updated survey of the Memorial Cemetery across the street in which Mr. Shultz and his family are buried (as well as my great-grandparents Clayton and Bertha Hermans). In 1974 my grandmother (on the other side) Clara Losee compiled records of burials from not only the tombstones, but from other vital records found in Rhinebeck and Red Hook. In 2017 I photographed the stones for Find-A-Grave and uploaded what I recorded there. After comparing my work with Gram’s I realized I missed a few and have yet to go back and retrieve them (it’s on the list!). I would also like to pad the record out with those burials for which there is no stone or inscription, but won’t have time to do the research for a long while (not on the list). After this, Art Kelly emailed me a bit irritated that I didn’t consult his work – a survey of the 20th century burials that I did not know existed. I have yet to consult this work, but it’s on the list… some day! Among those resting in the cemetery and also recorded on the quilt are a few members of the Battenfeld, Hermans, Schantz, Rhynders, and Shaffer families―only a handful of folks compared to other area cemeteries such as the Gallatin Reformed Church, Elizaville Methodist, Evergreen (Pine Plains), and Red Hook Lutheran. The numbers seem to correlate to stronger geographic proximity, church membership, and generations of the same family being interred in the same ground.

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