The Fire Next Door

That’s Elizabeth Van Ormun Collamer, wife of Samuel Collamer, and mother of Jacob Collamer, the United States Senator, resting with Burlington firefighters after they extinguished the fierce blaze in the Methodist Church on Elmwood Avenue earlier this month. Samuel was a 10th Massachusetts fifer in the Continental Army, and Troy, N.Y’s Town Constable, before he and Elizabeth moved to Burlington in 1795. Find-a-Grave shows us that Elizabeth was born in 1769 and died Jul. 27, 1850. The Methodist Church sustained significant damage from the three alarm fire. A bit of debris from the fire fell in Elmwood Avenue Cemetery but no headstones sustained damage.

Feature Story

Hillside-West Bridgewater Cemetery
Marilyn Welch-Fava became president of the West Bridgewater Cemetery Association in 2010. The Association completed a preservation project at the Hillside-West Bridgewater Cemetery this fall and we recently spoke with Marilyn about this beautiful cemetery.

VOCA: Can you give us a brief history of the West Bridgewater Cemetery Association?

Marilyn: The first meeting of the West Bridgewater Cemetery Association was held July 15, 1871, when it appears that the Association was established... Read on...

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Green Mountain Graveyards

Special Exhibit October 2014 to April 2015
Vermont History Museum
109 State Street, Montpelier VT (802) 828-2291

Green Mountain Graveyards traces the evolution of gravestone and funerary art in Vermont. This exhibit connects changing symbols and motifs with cultural and social views of death and mortality. Photographs of Vermont's earliest gravestones from the late 1700s depict the last vestiges of the popular "memento mori" movement, including carvings depicting coffins, hourglasses, and crude portraits. As society's views on death softened, artwork shifted away from the physical remains to more spiritual concerns, incorporating weeping willow trees, angels and winged cherubs. The growth of the state's granite economy in the late 1800s solidified Vermont's place in graveyard history as the industry attracted talented stoneworkers and sculptors from across the world.

The exhibit will be at the Vermont History Museum through mid-April 2015.