A History of Guildhall, Vermont
Containing some account of the place.."
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
Cemeteries in Guildhall—North Burying Ground--Old Graves--
1795. the date of the first known Burial—south Burying
Ground—Notthumberland Burying Ground—Court house Hill Cemetery.
"Our dear old town ! How grand
The views of mountain land
Which here we meet !
We love these verdant hills,
These vales our fathers tilled,
These woods the wild birds filled
With carols sweet.
Our native town ! How dear
Each purling brook so clear,
Each dale and steep-
But there's a dearer spot
Than rock, or rill, or cot,
Which ne'er can be forgot-
Where loved ones sleep."
The principal Cemetery in Guildhall is situated about a mile below the village, south side of the river road, and near the bank of the Connecticut River. There is another, more pleasantly located in the south part of the town, nearly opposite the school house in school district No. 1.
On referring to the town records, we find that the selectmen of the town, laid out a Burying Ground, in the year 1797. This was the North Burying Ground.
Their report, which may be interesting to some, is given on the next page:
"Laid out by us the subscribers in Guildhall the following Plot, for a Burying Ground in said Town. Containing about one acre, and described as follows (viz) Beginning at a stake on the North east line of the River Division of School Lands. Lot No. 52 on the southerly side of the River Road, thence S : 45 : E : 13 Rods to the Bank of the River to a Stake on sd Line, thence down the said River about fourteen Rods to a Stake on sd Bank, thence N.45°: W. thirteen rods, to a Stake on the Southerly side of said Road, thence on Said Road to the Bounds first mentioned.
Guildhall, November 14th. 1797.
Surveyed by Sam'l. R. Hall, Surveyor."
It therefore appears that the first Cemetery was laid out in 1797, yet we find that there had been burials there before that date, for in this yard there is an old stone bearing date of 1795. The exact date of the first death, or burial in town, is not known, but there are some old graves in both yards.
In July 1885 the writer went to the burying grounds referred to in this connection, and it was a noticeable fact how badly the grave stones were either sunken into the ground, broken in pieces, or fallen to, and lying flat on the ground, or partially buried under debris which has accumulated for years, and which looks as if it seldom, if ever were cleared away, especially in the north burying ground. Is it right, men of Guildhall ? You may not know it ; you may never have given it a thought, and perhaps you do not care to. Many old graves have possibly an old slatestone slab at the head, and it may look and seem to be worthless, but it marks the spot where lies an old settler of Guildhall, and should be cared for. If you do not care to preserve them as historical facts, DO show some interest in the resting places of those who laid the foundation of the town.
Among the old graves in the North Burying Ground are:
Dea. Joseph Berry, March 22, 1813.
"Mrs. Roxana Burge, consort of. Rev. Caleb Burge, who died March 17, 1814."
Hubbard W., son of Rev. Caleb Burge, Feb 28, 1811.
Samuel, son of Rev. Caleb Burge, 1813.
Mrs. Ruth Hinman, March 8, 1813; and we. find- on the slate these words:
"God my Redeemer lives
And often from the Skies Looks dawn and watches all my dust,
Till He shall bid it rise."
"Harriet, daughter of Hon. Daniel Dana Esq., and Mrs. Dolly his wife, April 12, 1802."
"Miss Dolly Dana, daughter of Hon. Daniel Dana Esq., and Mrs. Dolly Dana his wife, Feb. 20, 1808:"
and here we find:
"Tis not by works of righteousness,
Which our own hands have done,
But we are sav'd by sov'reign grace,
Abounding thro' the Son.
Raised from the dead, we live And justified by grace,
We shall appear in glory too, And see our Father's face."
. "Nancy Carlisle daughter of Thomas Carlisle et ux. September 20, 1811," and this verse appears:
"When the Archangel's trump shall call, And souls to bodies join,
What crowds will wish their lives on Earth
Had been as short as mine."
David Lindsey, Aug. 7, 1801.
Simeon Lindsey, Jr., April 21, 1810.
Edward How, Dec. 13, 1810.
Hains How, Dec. 24, 1810.
Ira How, Dec. 31, 1810.
The oldest stone we could find was a small double slate stone marking the resting places of Alden and Melinda How, children of Samuel How and Mrs. Mercy, his wife:
Alden died Oct. 9, 1795, and Melinda died Jan. 9, 1798.
Benoni Cutler, 1806.
Daniel Bundy, Aug. 8, 1810.
There are other old graves here, but we hardly feel like publishing more.
SOUTH BURYING GROUND
In this yard we find some old graves, but none as old as some we have mentioned above.
Betsey Cushman, 1813.
Mary Hopkinson, 1813.
Joshua Hopkinson, 1816.
Francis Hopkinson, 1817.
John Whipple, 1819.
General Seth Cashman's grave is here and dates Mar. 18, 1845.
THE NORTHUMBERLAND BURYING GROUND
As we thought it might be interesting to some to know how the Grave Yards in Guildhall compare with the one in Northumberland, N. H., as to dates, the writer made a visit to this Cemetery, which is situated about two miles north of Northumberland village, and is pleasantly located, and quite well cared for, much more so than either of the Cemeteries previously alluded to.
The oldest grave we found was that of Mrs. Lois Smith, March 26, 1795.
Capt. Jeremiah Eames' grave stone brans date of April 22, 1817, and on it are these words:
"He was one of the first settlers of this town."
THE COURT HOUSE HILL CEMETERY
There is a small private Cemetery in Guildhall village, located on the top of Court House hill. This is comparatively a new one, and it is by far the best one in town.