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Whether it's for their solace and beauty or for the sense of history that seeps from the ground, cemeteries are fascinating places to visit, and this guide shows where to find the most interesting and unusual ones in all of New England. Some have headstones that are fine art, others are associated with notorious events, and others are the final resting place of famous poets, soldiers, and statesmen. Included are large public facilities as well as the small family burying grounds hidden away behind crumbling stone...
Whether it's for their solace and beauty or for the sense of history that seeps from the ground, cemeteries are fascinating places to visit, and this guide shows where to find the most interesting and unusual ones in all of New England. Some have headstones that are fine art, others are associated with notorious events, and others are the final resting place of famous poets, soldiers, and statesmen. Included are large public facilities as well as the small family burying grounds hidden away behind crumbling stone walls and along once-cultivated farmland.
A sampling of cemeteries profiled:
*Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, where lifelike sculptures of angels and Greek goddesses stand next to a stone soccer ball and Shell Oil truck gravemarker, all elaborately carved from local granite by immigrant Italian stonecutters.
*Spider Gates Cemetery, in Leicester, Massachusetts, a notorious Quaker burying ground famed for its frequent ghost sightings and still in use today.
*A cemetery situated on the raised median of the Interstate in Warner, New Hampshire,which was preserved in 1970 by highway planners, who constructed the roadway around it.
*Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vermont, final resting place of Timothy Clark Smith, whose 1893 crypt includes a window to help him escape in case he was buried alive.
Driving directions are provided for each cemetery, and detailed maps show the location of the more obscure graveyards. This unique guide offers an intriguing way to learn about the history and culture of New England.
The lifelike sculptures of some of the grave markers are the main attraction at Hope Cemetery. Far left and at the back of the cemetery, look for the Brusa stone: A brooding angel, head on chin, legs crossed, trumpet on lap, sits beneath a Greek pillar and balustrade sculpture. . . . .Heading back out of the cemetery, pull over and check out the stones where you see the soccer ball stone. Look for a chair that serves as a grave marker, another with a classic Green Mountain view—complete with fence posts, rifle, fishing rod, dune buggy, and lots of trucks. One shows a Shell Oil truck driving through the mountains; another serves as a belated advertisement for the Benedini Well Company, depicting a truck in the process of digging an artesian well.
(1) Introduction (2) Connecticut: Ashford, Bridgeport, Coventry, Easton, Fairfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Hartford, Mansfield, Milford, New Haven, New London, Norwich, Pomfret, Windsor, Woodstock (3) Maine: Augusta, Bangor, Bucksport, Freeport, Gray, Kittery Point, Machias, North Brooklin, Portland, Rangeley, Togus, Waldoboro, Winslow, Wiscasset, York (4) Massachusetts: Cambridge, Concord, Deerfield, Fall River, Greenfield, Leicester, Leominster, Marblehead, Newburyport, Pelham, Plymouth, Quabbin, Salem, Shrewsbury, Springfield, Stockbridge, Worcester (5) New Hampshire: Barrington, Chester, Concord, Jaffrey Center, Kingston, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, Portsmouth, Star Island/Isle of Shoals, Warner, Washington, Wilmot, Wilton (6) Rhode Island: Block Island, Bristol, Exeter, Jamestown, Kingstown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Providence, Tiverton, Woonsocket (7) Vermont: Barre, Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Cuttingsville, East Calais, Lyndon Center, Mendon, Middlebury, Montpelier, New Haven, Newport, Plymouth, Randolph, Waterbury (8) Appendix A: Common Symbols on Gravestones (9) Appendix B: Common Abbreviations on Gravestones
Posted December 11, 2010
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