Poultney cemetery is rich in Rutland County history

The Poultney Area St. David's Society recently presented gift of $300 to the Poultney Cemetery Association-the gift matches one recently presented to the association by Morning Star Lodge 37 in Poultney. Lynn McGann, president of the cemetery association, said that the gifts will be used by the corporation for maintenance and lawn care of its property, a sizeable bill each year.

Poultney Cemetery plot owners or those with family members or ancestors at rest in the cemetery can help, too Tax-deductible gift, service on the corporation's board, are two ways to help the struggling association. The association's sole mission is care and maintenance of its property. Plot owners, their families and descendants, may hold office in the corporation and on its board of directors. All officers and directors are volunteers; new volunteers dedicated to the corporate mission are always needed.

Veterans can also help-they can volunteer for the annual placement of U.S. flags on military gravesites in the cemetery. Flag placement is a big job each season even with the help of local American Legion posts.

Poultney has several cemeteries within its geographic boundaries-one is maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, one by the Episcopal Church, a Jewish cemetery, and several early private cemeteries. Several are overseen by the Town of Poultney.

Entrance to the Poultney Cemetery Association property is via the east side of Beaman Street (U.S. Route 30). The resting place began in the early 1800s with a gift of land by John Stanley, a prominent local Protestant businessman of the era. Stanley donated the portion of the cemetery at the street level now referred to as the Old Cemetery. Stanley was involved in the founding and support of several businesses and was owner of several parcels of land at the intersection of Main Street with Beaman, Grove and East Main Streets. A generous community benefactor, he was donor of his East Main Street land to the Methodist Episcopal Society; it is the site where churchgoers erected the Stone Church structure which was first used in 1826.

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