Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snow Season: Good for Visiting the Adams-Babcock Cemetery

It's challenging to reach this small old cemetery -- probably the earliest in town -- and we thank the Waterford road crew for rescuing the access bridge that was buried in stones and stumps after the April 29 washout, reestablishing it late this autumn. But there are tree trunks across the old path, and the blackberries have grown thick. So it's actually easiest to reach with some snow on the ground, and sturdy boots or snowshoes.

Today I crossed a well-marked deer trail on the way up the bank to the cemetery. There's definitely a good-sized buck among the group that walks through here.

The cemetery record was written up by Eugenia Powers in 1980 and re-verified in 2008; here's the introduction to its RootsWeb page:
       This cemetery is in the woods, north of a pasture, in what was once an orchard.  The ground is covered with ground-myrtle with very little grass.  It is on the Lot drawn by James Adams as part of his proprietor's Right which probably became son, Charles Adams' farm.
          It has been called variously, Adams Cem, Babcock Cem, The Settlers' Cem; and when its overgrown condition was "put right" in the Bi-centennial year, Helen Knight dubbed it "the Myrtle Cemetery" because of the quantities of ground myrtle in it, a name which has stuck with us locals; although the "official" sign now by the road reads, "Adams-Babcock Cemetery".
          It had pretty much been forgotten until the Bi-centennial year when a group of men from the Waterford and East St Johnsbury Churches cleared it out, cutting brush and putting up a snow-fence provided by the town.  It has a stone wall on the southeast & southwest sides.
          The entrance is from a path with a sign reading, "Adams-Babcock Cemetery" on the right side of East Village Road going uphill, 0.7 mi from the bridge off US Rte 2 in East St Johnsbury Village (bear right after the bridge), 100 yards before the right-turn onto Walsh Rd. Path is down from the side of the road, across the brook on a plank bridge, and up a short, steep bank to an opening in the fence.
          If your knees cannot handle steep, slippery paths; there was an entrance from the pasture on the east corner (as a long ago discontinued road once passed this way).  It is a longer walk; but, it is level walking.  To reach this entrance, stop at Mrs. Fissette's (just south of the turn onto Walsh Rd) and get directions and permission to cross her land.
I also found a note indicating that Submit and James Adams were the first settlers in St. Johnsbury but moved across the line into (what would later be called) Waterford in 1791. 
The extraordinary gravestone on Submit Adams's site is NOT the original; the reproduction was made after a 1982 tree-fall smashed the original stone.

I have a lot more information on the people interred here, but I'll save that for another day. For those of you who use FindAGrave, please note that the material there is the same material that Mrs. Powers wrote.

1 comment:

  1. See also:
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    Contact: Phil Somers,