Kendaia’s history is largely one of war and military conflict. The original Seneca Indian village was destroyed by Continental troops during the Sullivan-Clinton campaign of the Revolutionary War, 1788-89. After the war, several soldiers remembered the area and returned to resettle the village.
Almost 150 years later, the military again entered into with its history, as construction of the Sampson Naval training base and the Seneca Army Depot obliterated the village. Although portions of the village were relocated, the cemetery serves as a reminder of the village’s original location and the rich history of the region.
The Kendaia Baptist Cemetery has over 800 graves, including at least four Continental soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War. The site is maintained by a private group, the First Baptist Church Society Cemetery Association, which tends the graves and markers. Families of those buried in the cemetery are allowed access once each year.