Our Second Annual
We return to Bolton's historic cemeteries for this year's Halloween contest. Bolton has two: Bolton Center Burying Ground is located on a high hill on Hebron Road, with colorful views of the mountains of Coventry and Mansfield;
Quarryville Burying Ground (also known as Belknap Cemetery) is located on Route 44 not far from the Methodist Church. Autumn is the perfect time to visit these grounds and add to your knowledge of Bolton history and your appreciation
of its natural beauties.
You will notice that most of the older headstones in these cemeteries are made of grey schist, which was mined locally in the quarry in the Notch. Take particular note of the stone carvings. It doesn't take long to realize that
many of them are the work of just a few artists; you'll begin to recognize their styles.
Among stone carvers, Bolton is famous for being the home of one Gershom Bartlett, whose work is represented by 40 stones in the Bolton Center grounds and
14 in Quarryville. Bartlett, who began quarrying in Bolton in the 1750s (and according to some sources may have been the first owner of the quarry), was known as the "hook-and-eye" man because the facial features of his carvings
resemble the old-fashioned garment fastener.
According to the Connecticut Gravestone Network (www.ctgravestones.com), "His stones are easily recognized by the bulbous noses, turned down mouths, row of vestigial teeth at the bottom of the face, raised eyebrows, usually a four-lobed
crown, three curved wings of curls beside the face. The finials are most frequently pinwheels or four-leafed clovers and often a small heart can be found near the bottom of the legend."
Some examples of Bartlett's work:
- Find the following Gershom Bartlett stones in the Bolton Center cemetery: (1) Deacon Thomas Pitkin (died 1766), (2) John Swetland (died 1748), and (3) Deacon Timothy Olcott (died 1754). At what age did each of these
people die (as stated on their stones)?
- Your answer must be received by midnight, October 28. Send by e-mail to email@example.com (please write BCN Contest in subject line, or your entry could be discarded as spam!) or by mail
to BCN Contest, P.O. Box 9254, Bolton, CT 06043. Be sure to include your mailing address and your phone number in case you win! (This information will not be shared with anyone else.)
- A winner will be chosen at random from among all the correct answers and announced on this home page. The winner will receive a copy of the book "Stones and Bones of New England: A Guide to Unusual, Historic, and Otherwise
Notable Cemeteries," by Lisa Rogak. Happy Hunting!