Courtesy of Carol Griswold Salli; URL courtesy of Richard Van Houten.
From: News and Views | City Beat | Sunday, November 19, 2000
History Emerges From Debris
Forget the election in Florida. If you want a real civics lesson, go out to Gravesend, Brooklyn, and meet 63-year-old Paula Castro, who has unearthed a piece of New York City Colonial history with her bare hands.
"See, I like old things," says Castro, her native Brooklyn accent as refreshing as a Coney Island breeze. "I like old people because I'm gonna be one of them soon. I like old cars. I also like history, although when I went to school I didn't give much of a hoot."
Paula Castro at the Van Sicklen Cemetery in Brooklyn Castro stumbled upon a piece of Brooklyn history about four years ago in her own neighborhood, when she passed the overgrown and badly neglected site of the private and forgotten Van Sicklen cemetery on Gravesend Neck Road, between McDonald Ave. and Van Sicklen St. Castro says a local man named Patrick Mazzoli had gotten some money from the city to clean up the cemetery, but he had failed to put the job out for proper bids and so the "use it or lose it" money had to be returned. Mazzoli died and time passed and the cemetery remained a buried treasure of New York.