Poultney struggles with cemetery vandalism

POULTNEY - Vermont's small rural cemeteries are not immune from the kinds of vandalism seen in larger, more urban resting places. In the case of the historic Poultney Cemetery, the cemetery's board of trustees are discussing the problem. The Poultney Cemetery Association is also addressing winter and spring storm damage and the clean up needed.

Poultney Cemetery is a scenic property located within Poultney on Beaman Street, adjacent to St. Raphael's Catholic Cemetery. The cemetery is owned by the association and its landowners.

Association President Lynn McGann said, "We've reviewed vandalism and property thefts that have occurred during the winter and spring season at the property as well as general spring clean up matters, road damage due to the extreme wet spring and seasonal lawn care matters."

McGann said the thefts at the cemetery included the metal military marker flag stands which are the property of the American Legion.

"A clean up project was reviewed and approved for immediate removal is that of a large decayed tree," he said.

McGann also said that the board reviewed the marker restoration work needed and approved that restoration of markers located in the historic Beaman Street section shall be the Association's first priority as restoration funds are available.

Poultney Cemetery Association Trustees include Lynn D. McGann, president, Pat Davenport, secretary/treasurer, Trevor Hughes, James Dente, Charlotte Hampl, and Janice B. Edward

"Due to the age of many markers throughout the cemetery, a considerable amount of restoration work needs to be done," McGann said. "The board approved that the first marker restoration that will be done shall be for the marker of a Civil War captain who died at Cold Harbor, Va., in 1864 at the age of 24 years; he was buried in Poultney Cemetery alongside his parents. A quote was received from Hicks Memorials was accepted regarding this first restoration work."

McGann also said that the costs for cleaning and restoring the veteran markers are costs which are not covered by the association. The association is looking for assistance from local residents.

So far, McGann said that a local Boy Scouts Troop donated $2,000 to the American Legion to help replace the stolen flag stands.

Donations for the restoration project can be mailed to the Poultney Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 63, Poultney 05764-0063.

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