My parents actually found the graves while on the way to visit my brother, Eric (who now lives in Ithaca). It took quite a while to uncover the tiny pathway leading off the roadwayeven with a map. The area is still mostly wilderness, although Amish families appear to be leasing the open grassland for their cattle. The graveyard is privately owned, but several graves are maintained by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the memorials near their tiny gravestones are adorned with the US flag.
As far as I can tell, the last Hauses to live on Hause Hill were Jesse and Sally Swarthout-Hause (Jesse was the son of William Hause, Jr. and Esther Sanford-Hause), who finally cashed in and left for cheaper land in Michingan in 1835 (according to Sally's obituary in the Watkins Express, Thursday, July 12, 1900). The Spears family purchased the property and then lived in William's old home for over a century, passed down through the generations.²
On Sunday, 25 Aug 1940, William Arthur Teed (1914-2005) married Clara Spears (1914-2008), the daughter of Fred Spears (1874-1947) and Ethel Margaret Baker-Spears (1888-1928), and took over the land. Their daughter, Wilma Teed-Perry, grew up on the property in the mid-twentieth century and remembers: "Many times I wandered the fields and explored the old Hause farm. There was an old brick oven out back that Mrs. Hause used for cooking." She picked wild blackberries, huckleberries and wild strawberries. "I walked to the cemetery where my grandmother and her infant son was buried. It was an old, old cemetery. My mother had told me not to eat the apples that were from the apple trees on the graveyard. Those apples were white and very sweet. She never knew I ate them. I wasn't about to tell her I had done that."
Then in 1948, a fire consumed the old house. William Teed thanked the community in the Watkins Express of 23 Feb 1949 for their support at the bottom of the front page: "CARD OF THANKS: We wish to thank our friends for their many acts of kindnesses shown us when our house burned." The family moved into "the old Pulver Place on Losey Hill," and a smaller home was built over the old, but according to Wilma you can still make out the foundation stone of the old house in the back yard. The barn finally fell down in the 1965, and nature overtook the property again. On 31 Oct 1985, William Teed placed an advertisement in the Dundee Observer, offering a choice of three one acre lots for sale on the property. Today the lots are owned by Quakers, whose cattle graze on the grounds and pond. William and Clara's son, Arthur William Teed (b. 1947), still tends the grounds of the cemetery. As the years pass, stones fall and crumble away, but this private cemetery is still active. The last person buried there was Lawrence Spears in 1990. We visit whenever we travel to New York, and are so thankful to the Tweeds for keeping the graveyard accessible.
NOTES ON THIS PAGE:
¹More Hause and Wood family graves can be located if you drive down Hause Hill to the Tyrone Union Cemetery, near Lamoka Lake.
²There may have been a family connection involved in the sale, as the 1854 will of Barney Spears, who bought the property on Hause Hill, lists a "Polly House" as his daughter: "Barney T. Spear age 78 - date of will, Aug. 21, 1854. Date of probate: Feb. 29, 1864, Tryone, Steuben Co., NY. His wife Sally, son Henry, son Tunis, son John. Daughter Charity. Exec. Son Jacob, dau. Elizabeth Reynolds, and dau. Polly House, wit I. H. Hill & Wayne Boorom, both of Tyrone."
³I know I complain too much about the spelling of our name on legal documents, since everybody spelled phonetically back then, but I read all the time about how exacting the Daughters of the American Revolution are, and how a misplaced period or un-dotted "i" gets an applicant rejected... and they cross out "Hause" on the application and write in "House"and it even passes a double-check! I mean, check your sources: service records, muster rolls, real estate deals: They all say "Hause!" William signed a letter to King George and spelled it H-A-U-S-E. He even signed a payment slip for fighting in Pawling's Levies and it was, "Hause." But some fact checker at the DAR spells it "House." That's not phonetics, DAR, it's just bad spelling! From now on I'm writing to you as the "Doughters of the American Revolution!" Take that!