Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Dozen Cemeteries in Waterford

At Riverside Cemetery, this stone honors Waterford author Robert (Bob) Pike and his wife Helene.  Double-click to enlarge.
As the Waterford Historical Group tackles documenting the town's cemeteries -- and catching the related stories and history -- we are working from a long list of locations:
Powers Cemetery, Daniels Farm Rd
Pike Cemetery, at rear of Riverside Cemetery
Riverside Cemetery, off Route 18, southeast of Lower Waterford
Charles Hill Cemetery, on the Gingue Farm
Adams/Babcock a.k.a. Myrtle a.k.a. Settlers Cemetery, East Village Rd
Cushman Cemetery, East Village Rd, across field
Passumpsic Village Cemetery
West Waterford Cemetery, Duck Pond Rd
Stiles Cemetery, Rt 18, across from treatment plant of Stiles Pond
Lower Waterford Cemetery, Duck Pond Rd
Possibly one stone left between Lawrence and Kroger properties

Hello, Waterford Historical Group: I know there should be 12 and I only have 11 here. What's missing? Thanks! BK

Charles Hill Cemetery, West Waterford -- Notes from BK

Hill Cemetery, Waterford, VT, 6/5/11

Working from south side to north:

Ambrose Hill, died May 10, 1883, AE 70 yrs, 5 mos & 11 das. [P2]
1880 Census, shown as widower, Waterford, living with Charles T. Hill 37, Julia C. Hill 24, and 3 children (George A., Charlotte E., Louisa J.) (George Ambrose Hill shows up in WW I draft registration cards) (1860 Census includes Curtis R. 23, Charles S. 18, Josephina A. 16, William W. 10, Ann D 17; Curtis R. has a draft card, died in Lyndon VT, no sign of having served)
Louisa, wife of Ambrose Hill, died Nov. 6, 1861, AE 51 yrs 5 mos.
William W., son of A. & L. Hill, died Mar. 15, 1882, AE 32 yrs 5 mos [P1]
Robert Hill, died June 21, 1865, AE 22 [P3] (son of Hiram b. 1819 and Susan b. 1821; siblings Louisa, Hiram C., Kate, and Ida; Census)
Adaline Hill, Mar. 10,  1849, AE 23 months
John son of David Olief Hutcherson, died Oct. 20, 1822, the 25 year of his AE [spelling varies in town records, also Hutchinson; early settler Benjamin Hutchinson]
Walton N. Hill, died May 22, 1846, AE 45
Sarah, wife of Walton Hill, died Sept. 26, 1843, AE 36 Yrs
Homer P. Hill, son of M. W. & M. A. Hill, died Apr. 18, 1915, AE 22 yrs
John W. Campbell, 1852-1922
Minot W. Hill, died Dec. 29, 1899, AE 35 yrs [son of Philemon and Martha Hill]
Amya P. 
William, son of James and Philura Tyler, died March 10, 1821, aged 2 mos & 11 days [Philina?]
Anna M, daughter of Jefs & Et-erlindia Tyler, aged 3 yrs
Eben Farnham Jr., died Oct. 2 1859, aged 79
Louisa, wife of Eben Farnham, died Aug. 6, 1871
Captain Thomas Hill, died Aug. 10, 1860, AE 86 [P5]
Susan, his wife, died Dec. 8, 1808, ae 20
Jemima, his 2nd wife, died Dec. 18, 1863, ae 79
Philemon Hill, died Oct. 21, 1899, ae 84 yrs [P4]
Martha, wife of Philemon Hill, died July 15, 1908, ae 83 yrs
Moses Wright, Feb. 7, 1748-June 4, 1821 [Rev. War vet plaque]
George, son of Simeon & Rebecah Hill, died June 21, 1815, age 6 months
[another son] age 12 yrs
Simeon Hill
Rebekah Hill
Caleb Bugbee, died Sept. 24, 1821
Joanna, wife of Caleb Bugbee 
Lucinda Calkins, wife of Elijah Ware, died Sept. 23, 1875, aged 70 yrs

Photos available on request; the only Hill from this family confirmed to have served in the Civil War, Charles W. Hill, is buried at Fredericksburg National Cemetery, says TLD.

Cushman Cemetery (photos by BK, June 2011)

To see a larger version of a photo, double-click on it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Northeastern Speedway: The Fun Side of History!

Waterford's own racetrack was recently restored -- with a healthy dose of community controversy about the role of a speedway among today's homes! -- and there are some great photos of then and now, including the cars and drivers. Check 'em out (by clicking on the words then and now in preceding sentence).

NEW INFORMATION (2012):  My name is Paul  and I recently restored the Northeastern Speedway grounds.  The Vermont Division For Historic Preservation has granted the Speedway a Historical Roadside Marker. In May 2012 the Lt. Governor, Phil Scott, will be on hand for the presentation.  -- Thanks, Paul Bellefeuille

A Little Luxury: The Rabbit Hill Inn

Many visitors to Lower Waterford know it as "The White Village," with its cluster of white-painted homes, church, library, and the justly famous Rabbit Hill Inn. But do you know the inn's history? It begins in the 1700s -- here it is!

Logging Days in the North Country

Bob Pike's family roots are in Waterford, Vermont, and in Riverside Cemetery is his stone, recognizing a life well lived. Happy hours of reading arrive with either of his most noted books: Spiked Boots, and Tall Trees, Tough Men. Bob's daughter Helen Chantal Pike sells Spiked Boots and you can order a copy at her website. In its pages are tales of the river men who brought the logs down the Connecticut, often starting them off in smaller ponds and streams in the northern woods. Meet "Grinner" Schoppe, Dan Bosse, George Van Dyke, the characters whose real lives were full of adventure until the logging days ended with the last "long log" drive and then, in 1930, the closing of the river route completely with the construction of Commerford Dam in Waterford.

History: Stories, Memories, Details, Discoveries ...

I've placed the opening of Dr. Harris's history of the town into the frame of this blog on the right-hand side. Notice the doctor's list of founding settlers, geographically located. These names are found in Waterford today -- we have long family lives and long memories.

It's important to me to point out that there are no women's names in Dr. Harris's opening statement. Nor is there mention of the generations of Abenaki who resided along the river banks of Waterford before European settlers arrived. Every generation sees things differently.

As I look back now, I unfold the history and stories of each founding family through a man, a woman, their children, their relatives, the "hired man" or extra woman living on the homestead, the products of the farm or shop, the records left behind. In the Riverside Cemetery not far from the White Village of Lower Waterford is a marker stone for Mary Lewis, who "died in California" in 1870; she was the wife of Curtis Lewis, born in Littleton, New Hampshire, closer in those days than it is even today -- "Waterford" was of course named for the multiple fording placed on the Connecticut River, where you could cross relatively easily from the village to the large town of Littleton, New Hampshire. Families mingled geographically, and in terms of trade -- what we now call "the economy."

Nor were state boundaries the only ones that people passed across. Trudy Parker's great-aunt Sarah, a noted Abenaki basketmaker, traveled with her family across the national borderline into Canada. We draw lines on the map, but our lives are larger and more wonderful than what we can capture in our drawings.

"Full disclosure," as they say: I'm a writer, digging through the historical evidence -- which to me always includes the stories of the people in a place and from that place -- and writing novels to capture the sense of life in other times. The Darkness Under the Water, set in Waterford in 1930, offers a view of being a young woman growing up in the town, with a heritage rich in Abenaki ways and French Canadian habits, witnessing one of the biggest landscape changes of the Waterford's 20th century: the time when Upper Waterford vanished under the massive lake created from the waters of the Connecticut River, held partly back by Commerford Dam.

What stories and history can you share with us here? As this space opens, there are close to a dozen of us already sharing our wealth of resources and our questions. You might as well join in! We welcome photos of Waterford "then and now," reminiscences, data, discoveries. We'll be adding details about the town's 12 cemeteries this summer, and hope to also explore its heritage of neighborhood schools (a dozen!), meetinghouses, faith, flood, hurricane, blizzard, and joyful survival.

Come visit us often. -- BK