Topsham Cemeteries

Child's Gazetteer Of Orange County, Vt. 1762-1888 tells us that the town of Topsham was chartered by Benning Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire, September 27, 1763, to George Frost and eighty-one associates, and contained 23,040 acres. The early settlers were principally from New Hampshire and. Massachusetts. The first to settle in the town was Thomas Chamberlin, in 1781, in the eastern part.

In 2013, the modern day inhabitants of Topsham celebrated their 250th anniversary. Surrounding that event and continuing on each year since, Topsham is restoring its many cemeteries. Here is their story in their own words:

A town becoming 250 years old is such a special occasion and such a responsibility to be sure it is commemorated with pride and dignity as well as festivities.

Topsham Town Clerk, Cynthia Flannigan, being a Blue Star mother knows more than many about the sacrifices that are being made and that have been made since the Revolutionary War to keep our freedom. She suggested to the 250th Committee that a ceremony for Veterans should be the kick-off event. The plans for Topsham's oldest cemetery began taking shape. Volunteers of all ages eagerly took back Currier Hill Cemetery from its aging decline. Fill was brought in, sunken graves were filled. Large trees were removed. A talented Topsham resident routed a new sign, the Topsham Historical Society provided lumber for a new entrance above which the sign was hung.

On May 30, 2013 Volunteers, again of all ages from very young cub scouts to Topsham's dear elders took on reading poems, placing flags and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. An era was born.

For Memorial Day 2014 at the old West Topsham Cemetery large trees were removed as was the old worn out fence. A new fence was installed. Leaning gravestones were straightened and damaged ones repaired.

Round Top Cemetery hosted Memorial Day 2015. Fill was again provided for sinking stones. The old barbed wire fence was removed. Thanks in part to a VOCA grant broken stones were repaired.

All of the refurbished cemeteries have new tamarack flagpoles. The tamarack trees were cut off a Topsham farm. The American flag and the MIA flag are flown.

At Fellows Hill Cemetery on Saturday, April 20, 2016 Topsham volunteers cut brush and limbs, raked leaves, straightened gravestones, replaced stones that had fallen from the stone wall surrounding the cemetery and rolled up the barbed wire fence that is no longer needed because cows no longer graze near-by. The site was chosen and the hole dug for the new tamarack flag pole. A new gate and sign will be in place by May 30th welcoming guests to yet another special Memorial Day ceremony.

The Community has been very supportive in both volunteering as well as passing the budget for old cemeteries to help keep restoration and maintenance possible. The Select Board has contracted for the mowing of the old cemeteries three times per year.