There are many aspects of life here that are so unique from other parts of the country, and I want to share those things with my family, and perhaps with you- if you have never been here. I do a collection of posts called : "Living in New England" that highlight quintessential New England sights, events, situations, and experiences.
I know of many people who have lived here in New England their entire lives and perhaps don't realize that some of the events and sights that I will describe don't happen elsewhere in the country. Or, maybe you are originally from New England, but have moved away... I hope these posts will bring back some fond memories for you.
In any event, I wish to share New England with you through the eyes of this Southerner!
As we first began to visit New England in search of a new home I was awestruck by all of the beautiful, serene, antique cemeteries that dot this part of the country. I have always loved the peace and reverence of a cemetery, but the cemeteries here with their paper-thin slate headstones and their beautiful remote locations evoke a strong connection to the past. We are fortunate to have two very close to us- we can turn left or right at the end of our driveway, walk a mile and be at either one. It has been a tradition of ours since moving into the farmhouse that about once a year, early evening, we will take a bottle of wine, or some other libation, and go to one of our cemeteries and walk the grounds reading the headstones, saying the names aloud and toasting to their memory; all the while wondering what their lives must have been like. We feel a great kinship with these souls who have passed before us since they too lived in, and no doubt loved, the same beautiful surroundings that we do. There are so many wonderful old first names that you just don't hear anymore, and so many stories to be gleaned from reading the headstones.
Since one of our cemeteries even has a famous ghost :O and since it's October 31st, I thought it would be the perfect time of year to bring you along!
This particular cemetery sits atop a hill and overlooks a lake. Not a bad place to spend eternity, me thinks!
The willow was a popular motif on headstones in the1800's.
"Why weepest thou? he is not here."
From very simple...
to more elaborate carved marble.
This headstone dates to 1795.
"Mrs. Anna Fiske, the amiable, virtuous confort of the Rev. Able Fiske..."
Hundreds of years of weather has made this headstone almost impossible to read.
The top of this headstone has broken off.
This headstone dates to 1769
When a headstone develops even a small crack the weather can wreck havoc. The freezing and thawing will crack the stone, eventually breaking it off.
A headstone that has been pieced back together.
The freezing and thawing of our New Hampshire winters must have found a crack at the base of this headstone and eventually eroded the stone until it broke off from the main piece.
A lead topper was made to protect this headstone.
Adore the antique iron repairs on this headstone. Martha Stewart recently had a very informative post on her blog about the restoration of antique headstones in Bedford, New York.
"In memory of two sons of William Abbott.... 1784... 1788."
You can see how wafer-thin some of the headstones are in this photo.
"Little Harry" will break your heart.
The inscription at the very bottom of this headstone reads...
"Stoop down my friends as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you must be.
Prepare for death and follow me."
The lake is visible through the branches of the trees.
A granite hitching post in case you rode your horse.
Not the headstone of the famous ghost, just one that I thought was ironic ;)
Dan and Ella (dressed as a pumpkin! just kidding, it's her safety jacket as the hunters are out) leaving the cemetery.
To read other "Living in New England" posts visit HERE.