Mattison Cemetery

Tinmouth, VT

September 2013

The restoration of this small family cemetery had been on the mind of the farm owner State Representative David E. Potter for some time. He had been reluctant to attempt restoration as he didn’t want to cause unintended damage. The cemetery had been hidden and in deteriorated condition for many years. After discussing what could be done to restore the cemetery with Vermont Old Cemetery Association president Thomas Giffin, a date was arranged.

The cemetery, located three or four hundred yards off the main road in a clump of large trees, was hidden from view. Upon inspection there was a low stone wall and behind it the old grave stones laid out in rows. All the stones were leaning with large trees around or over them. One was broken into three pieces, others were lying flat on the ground and two large stones were buried amongst roots of the trees that had grown over them. David, his son, and their farm tractor were able, after several attempts by the stressed tractor, to extricate and reset the one really large stone. It was about ten feet long and weighed two tons or more. Another large stone was removed and reset after cutting the roots of a tree that had grown over it and tipped it over. The broken three piece stone was put back together with mastic and reset. The other stones were straightened and reset. When work was completed, the space became a restored old cemetery. David planned to return and cut the remaining small saplings and brush and maintain it in the future.

Thanks to David, his son, the tractor and VOCA, one more abandoned cemetery has been restored!