James Anderson headstone in Lowell Lake Cemetery. Photo provided by Ron Patch.

The epitaphs I include below some will find interesting. Who compiled these epitaphs, I do not know. They are in a handmade, make-do book, and written in old ink. It dates to 1903.

The keeper of this book did not record graves or cemeteries in order, nor did they always mention the cemetery in which these epitaphs were found. I copy them as they were written.

Most of us are aware that early settlers were very religious, which is reflected in many individual epitaphs. Maybe not so well known, some of these early settlers had a sense of humor.

Old Town Rockingham, Vt.

“1805 16th year of her age

Behold and read a mournful fate

Two lovers were sincere

And one is left without a mate

The other slumbers here

Since you are left to mourn

To you these words I say

Though we are seperated here

Must meet another day

And reign with God above

Upon a blissful shore

And reunite our love

Where friends shall part no more”


“1861 We have planted him in earth that he may bloom in heaven”


“1806 The decendents of Josiah White at his death. Children 15, grandchildren 160, grate grandchildren 211. Children desceased 2, grand children 26, grate grand children 35”


Another entry

“Mourn not for me my parents deer

Justice is done my boddys here

My soul to God has took its way

It will return in the last day”


“Draw near my friends

and take a view

For this cold earth must cover you”


“Here lies a babe took from the breast

Her child his slumbering with the rest

Reader behold and shed a tear

Think on the dust that slumbers here

And when you read the fate of me

Think on the glass that runs for thee

Sally Stearns drowned in Saxtons River Aug 21 1797”



Remember me as you pass by

As you are now so once was I

As I am now so you must be

Prepare for death and follow me”


“Epitaphs taken from cemetary at Lowell Lake Londonderry Vermont

“Messenr James Anderfon 1779

All you who read with little care

Who walk away and leave me here

Should not forget that you muft die

And be entombed as well as I”


“Taken from Windham Cemetery North part

1821 aged 94

Priscilla Moor is my name

And English is my nation

Andover is my dwelling place

And Christ is my salvation

When I am dead and buried

And all my bones are rotten

When this you see remember me

That I may not be forgotten”


“Here lies the body of Solomon Peas

Under the sod and under the trees

Not the peas but only the pod

The peas shelled out and gone to God”


“Here lies the body of old Miss Charlott

Who died a virgin and not a harlot

She lived seventy years in her virginity

An unusual thing in this vicinity”


“As I pass bye with grief I see

That my dear wife is gone from me

Taken by one who has a right

Thank God to heaven she took her flight

Saxtons River Cem”


My chosen epitaph: “If you can’t laugh…Die”


Danny Clemons and I have toured many cemeteries in both Vermont and New Hampshire towns. I have photographed hundreds of graves from dozens of cemeteries. I understand why the keeper of this book was compelled to record these epitaphs.

The photo with this article I took when Danny and I went to the Lowell Lake Cemetery. It is one of the epitaphs I include. It has a most unusual carving. It reads:


Meffenr James Anderfon Son of Mr. David Anderfon who died January 7th 1779 in the 21ft year of his age”

Well March is here. March is my favorite winter month. The days are longer and the rays of the sun begin to penetrate the snowbanks. My houseplants are showing new growth and my wooden snowshoes beckon. I like snowshoeing in March. Snow fleas will appear. All of the critters in the woods emerge from their slumber. Cabin fever retreats. Spring is on the way. I look forward to my garden and long summer days.

This week’s old saying was a question.” How many people are buried in this cemetery? Answer, “All of them.”



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