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Topic: Barre Vermont

Hope Cemetery: Life and death celebrated in a garden of granite


While On the Road in America, I continually look for unique and interesting places and people. In Barre, Vermont, I found just such a special place, a landscape irrevocably linked in life and death to the people of this community whose work is art in its highest form.

The pensive Spence monument is intriguing as the only one not immaculately tended.

Ten years ago friends introduced me to Hope Cemetery, first in a quick drive-by on the way to somewhere else, and later, for a “quick” tour that became a lengthy monument-by-monument tour. For these monuments are like no others. They honor the dead, but are of themselves museum quality works of art and imagination that attract a flurry of annual visitors from all over the world. The granite monuments, carved from Barre’s own Rock of Ages Quarry, rank as the best granite craftsmanship in the world. Most people do not realize that many of the monuments across our country are crafted from Barre (and other Vermont) granite.

I walked the peaceful, quiet grounds, awestruck by the ingenuity of many of the stones, and by the willingness of the creators to step beyond the traditional “names and dates of life and death” inscription and create memorials that capture the essence of individual in the form of a hobby, a career, a love, a memory…

To say that the images unfolding here are breathtaking is an understatement. I was walking through an open air museum of the finest art. «Read the rest of this article»


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