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Hope Cemetery
Barre, VT
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Hope Cemetery
Coming from the Granite State , we had heard rumors of the famous monument carvers from Barre, VT. But we were unprepared for the astonishing tombstones of Hope Cemetery. Opened in 1896, this graveyard is an art gallery, celebrating life in the midst of death with some of the most compelling, and quirky, art cemetery stonests in the nation.
 
We arrived on an appropriately gray and threatening day in July and toured, first by car and then on foot, moving from stone to stone --touching and marvelling. While the average New England tombstone evokes a dull finality, these sculptures speak volumes about, both the deceased and the carver.
 
One "final resting place" is a stuffed armchair. In another, a couple lies in their granite double bed, together as in life, pajamas on. In Hope Cemetery, the angels sometimes look bored with Eternity, while massive gravestones rise like Greek temples nearby.
 
No subject is too offbeat , personal or creative for the carvers of Barre, "The Granite Capital of the World" -- from soccer balls, airplanes, cars and trucks. One carver evokes an image of his wife in the smoke of his cigar.  In another reminiscent of Michelangelo's "Pieta" a woman clasps a turn-of-the-century workman.  We from NH salute the stone carvers of Vermont who refuse to give death the final word. Bravo! -- JDR

Hope Cemetery 1

  Hope Cemetery 2

Hope Cemetery 3

Hope Cemetery 4

Hope Cemetery 5

Hope Cemetery 6

Hope Cemetery 7

Hope Cemetery 8

Hope Cemetery 9

CONTINUE TOUR OF HOPE CEMETERY, Barre, VT

Disposable images and text by J. Dennis Robinson
Copyright 2001 SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.


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