BINGHAMTON, NY – Some long abandoned graves of people who lived in obscurity are beginning to receive attention and care.

The Preservation Association of the Southern Tier and the Greater Binghamton Health Center unveiled a new memorial plaque outside the old cemetery where Psych Center patients were buried for more than 80 years.

Between 1890 and 1971, more than 4 thousand patients who died at the psychiatric hospital were buried across several acres of land.

While a few had headstones installed by family, most received numbered metal markers.

In 1961, Route 17 was built through a section of the graveyard forcing roughly 15 hundred of the graves to be relocated to the other side of Windy Hill Road.

Since then, the cemetery has become overgrown and neglected.

Broome County Historian and PAST Executive Director Roger Luther says it’s important to treat these people with dignity, even in death.

“They’re up here, removed from society, totally out of sight. But they were that way in life too. When they were in the institution, they were isolated from the community,” he says.

Luther says the plaque is the first step toward a major restoration and beautification of the cemetery by the state Office of Mental Health, cleaning up the landscaping and markers.

He says the hospital has maintained a grid delineating where each body is buried.

It is worth noting that it is on private property and posted no trespassing.