Turn Right onto Cemetery Road in ShrewsburyWhen you drive in from Route 103, watch for the Shrewsbury Community Church and Meeting House sign, turn right and drive down Cemetery Road. It’s steep and a dead end (pardon the expression). When you get out of your car, take in the view across Center Cemetery and out into the Green Mountains. Pure Vermont. The headstones date back 200 years. An unnamed Daughter and Son of Orin and Diantha Knight were buried here side-by-side in 1836 and 1842. Their other 4 children got names. Nathan Smith, who died in 1866 at age 87, has a sheaf of wheat on his headstone, symbolizing a long and fruitful life. A Mason jar, lying atop the field stone wall at the well-worn gate, contain the cemetery rules and regulations for the traveler from Burlington or Boston.
Sadly, as previous installments of "Burlington's Most Endangered" demonstrate, there are many properties in the Queen City that are threatened by neglect, inadequate maintenance, lack of funding, inappropriate development and even insensitive public policy. It's not just houses that are at risk however, but also commercial and industrial buildings, garages, landscapes, monuments, parks and even cemeteries. Our historic burying places are worthy of as much attention and care as our greatest architecture. They fill gaps in archival records, give community context, and speak to our cultural standards and ideologies. Preserving them isn't so much.... Read on...