On The Way To The Spring Meeting

On the way to the Spring meeting of the Vermont Old Cemetery Association in Newfane, we got off at the Putney exit of I-91, jumped on the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Highway aka Route 5, and turned back West on School House Road. Right across from the school house, we spied Bennett Cemetery, and being 15 minutes ahead of schedule, we piled out of the car and explored. Being from up North, we don’t get down to this part of the state as much, and every new cemetery is a joy! They started burying folks in Bennett in 1780, 11 years before Vermont became a state. You can always tell you are getting further and further South in Vermont because you see more and more Death's Heads and memento mori on the headstones!

Feature Story

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Editor’s note: Nineteen years ago, in the Spring 1998 Vermont Life magazine, this 5 page article appeared. The article remains just as cogent and inspiring today.

WHEN VERMONTERS abandoned their hill farms in the second half of the 19th century, the forest grew back quickly, obliterating most traces of settlement — except for things made of stone: stone foundations, stone walls and gravestones. Life was difficult, often short, but the gravestones at least seemed as permanent as the rocky hills that surrounded them.

Once these cemeteries were abandoned, though, the stones proved nearly as frail as the lives they marked: Storms battered them; tree roots un-seated them; lichens colonized them; rodents undermined them; weeds obscured them; vandals overturned them; cows leaned on them; acid rain dissolved them; and frost heaved them. From year to year, a hunter might come upon a row of leaning stones deep in the forest, but otherwise they went unnoticed. Many of the earliest grave markers had been made of soft...Read on...

Poultney Historical Society

The Poultney Historical Society, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1935, preserves and interprets the history of the Town of Poultney. An all-volunteer association supported through memberships and contributions from community members and visitors, the Society owns three historic buildings on-the-green in East Poultney…the East Poultney Schoolhouse (1896), the Melodeon Factory (1849), and the Union Academy (1791).

These museums house collections of a broad range of records and artifacts accumulated over the years, including genealogical, church and cemetery records and objects from many periods including costumes, military memorabilia, restored melodeons, furniture, photographs, glass plate negatives, books, ironworks, farm tools and household items.

The museums are open to the public on Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 PM from July through September and by appointment during the summer or the rest of the year. Please visit our website here.

J. Lewis Store