Whether it's for their solace and beauty or for the sense of history that seeps from the ground, cemeteries are fascinating places to visit, this guide shows where to find the most interesting and unusual ones in all of New England. Some have headstones that are fine art, others are associated with notorious events, and others are the final resting place of famous poets, soldiers, and statesmen. Included are large public facilities as well as the small family burying grounds hidden away behind crumbling stone walls and along once-cultivated farmland.
A sampling of cemeteries profiled:
*Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, where lifelike sculptures of angels and Greek goddesses stand next to a stone soccer ball and Shell Oil truck gravemarker, all elaborately carved from local granite by immigrant Italian stonecutters.
*Spider Gates Cemetery, in Leicester, Massachusetts, a notorious Quaker burying ground famed for its frequent ghost sightings and still in use today.
*A cemetery situated on the raised median of the Interstate in Warner, New Hampshire,which was preserved in 1970 by highway planners, who constructed the roadway around it.
*Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vermont, final resting place of Timothy Clark Smith, whose 1893 crypt includes a window to help him escape in case he was buried alive.
Driving directions are provided for each cemetery, and detailed maps show the location of the more obscure graveyards. This unique guide offers an intriguing way to learn about the history and culture of New England.
Lisa Rogak is the author of more than twenty nonfiction books on cooking, travel, careers, country living, and other topics. She also runs a unique business selling antique funeral memorabilia on the Internet. She lives in Grafton, New Hampshire.
Ray Bendici is associate editor at Connecticut Magazine, where he has covered the state in depth for over a decade, including through his monthly "Sunday Drive" and "Being There" columns. He also runs DamnedCT.com, which is dedicated to all that's odd, unexplained, unusual and curious in Connecticut.