Oct 15, 2021
2 mins read
In today's video,
https://youtu.be/HGRCQ6O-zs0, I am walking the Shelburne Road Cemetery in South Burlington, Vermont. It is one of two municipal cemeteries in this city. (Eldridge is the other.)
You will NEVER see it from the road because it's behind a line of trees. I've driven by it for DECADES and had no idea it was there!
In my walk, I only covered the front area. There were three tents pitched in the back near other headstones and I did not want to disturb any of the occupants.
There is scant information on this place. Multiple headstones are broken and unreadable because they are obscured by grass. That said, someone has gone to the effort of moving pieces of a few monuments into positions that make them easier to read. A HUGE thanks for that!
"...On a recent visit to the Shelburne Road Cemetery, a shopping cart full of leaves and plastic bags sits abandoned near the entrance. Once a visitor ventures through the trees that screen it from Route 7, the cemetery itself looks largely empty, with one cluster of graves near the front and another at the rear. The headstones are in various states of disrepair, though many inscriptions are still legible, including some dating back to the early 1800s.
The town clerk’s office had little information to offer about the cemetery’s history. Likewise, Bill Szymanski, South Burlington’s 83-year-old cemetery commissioner, could say only that it’s still considered “active.” Plots are available to the public for $300 apiece — to Szymanski’s best recollection, since no one has been interred there for more than a decade. [There was a headstone with a 2020 death date on it.]
Paul Wallace of the Chittenden County Historical Society was more helpful. The Burlington resident is a retired archaeology professor from the State University of New York at Albany and is working on a project to collect epitaphs from Chittenden County’s 106 cemeteries. Thus far, Wallace claims to have visited 104 and walked them all “stone by stone.”
"...What do the epitaphs in Shelburne Road Cemetery tell us about its permanent residents? Many of the names are common in this area, including Barstow, Catlin, Harrington, Irish and Spear — that last the family for which Spear Street presumably was named.
More than 40 graves are listed in town records, while online websites such as interment.net and findagrave.com list as many as 129. While walking the Shelburne Road Cemetery himself, Wallace said he encountered only two epitaphs worth noting.
The first lists three brothers — Thomas, William and George Gullian (or Culbert; the stone is difficult to read), ages 16, 13 and 8, respectively — who all died on November 7, 1813. According to their epitaph, “The above sons of Peter and Jane Gullian were all drowned in a pond together.”
The other notable epitaph is for Jennie C. Brady, who died on June 4, 1882, at the age of 18 years, six months. It reads: “Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew she sparkled, was exhaled and went to heaven.”-https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/whats-the-story-behind-the-old-cemetery-on-shelburne-road-in-south-burlington/Content?oid=2203949
Note that the Jennie Brady tombstone is now broken. I could not see any epitaph.