Franklin Countys First News

Colonial Daughters rededicate ancient cemetery, Revolutionary War veteran’s grave

Julia Nouvertne, regent of the Colonial Daugters Chapter, DAR, speaks to a small assembly at the grave marker indicating the location of the 'Old Burying Ground.' Beside her is Nancy Flick, the chapter's chaplain.

Julia Nouvertne, regent of the Colonial Daughters Chapter, DAR, speaks to a small assembly at the grave marker indicating the location of the 'Old Burying Ground.' Beside her is Nancy Flick, the chapter's chaplain, who offered a prayer and benediction at the rededication.

WEST FARMINGTON - One of the oldest cemeteries in the region was rededicated Friday, as the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled a grave marker for a Revolutionary War soldier.

Known as the Old Burying Ground, the plot is accessible off the end of Starling Road and the Town Farm Road. Established in 1786, the cemetery is believed to be the location were a number of the town's founding settlers were buried. Among these was John Austin, a Revolutionary War veteran who lived from 1732 until 1820.

The cemetery had been neglected over the previous centuries, with every original grave marker lost as trees, underbrush and shifting earth claimed the site. In 2009, an adjoining landowner inquired what could be done about the rededicating the cemetery.

Three and a half years later, an effort which included trips to the Registry of Deeds in Augusta, local funeral directors helping probe for old stones and countless hours of research by and site work, members of the Colonial Daughters and other local officials arrived at the cleared lot. A new stone, donated by Dan and Scott Adams, marked the general location of the graveyard. Without knowing Adams' final resting place, the Colonial Daughters positioned it in the heart of the glen, facing the Village Square and his original property.

Regent Julia Nouvertne of the Colonial Daughters Chapter, DAR, thanked the chapter's cemetery committee, Joanne Page, Jeanette Stevens, Elaine Wells and Connie Hiltz, as well as the Adams funeral directors and Boy Scout Troop 594, who undertook much of the physical clean-up work. Also present was Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis and Sen. Tom Saviello of Wilton, both of whom thanked the Colonial Daughters for their efforts in preserving the graveyard, Adams' memory and a small slice of Farmington's history.

"It is our hope that maybe at some point in time, this little burying ground could become part of the Farmington Historic District Walking Tour," Nouvertne said. "Never to be forgotten again."

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5 Responses »

  1. Awesome. Too bad so many among us do not deeply value (or do not recognize how easily can be lost) the gifts given to us by those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

  2. What a wonderful Job! As a member of Find a Grave, this is sooooo important! Bless your hearts.

  3. We've known about this graveyard, but did you actually find documentation that's where John Austin was buried? What about Granny Austin? Wasn't she his mother? Or was she his wife?

  4. Rumor has it that the stones in the John Austin Cemetery were carried off by people who used them as doorsteps! SHAME ON THEM!!!!!

  5. The Ancient Ones would have loved to have been there to fire a salute with a flintlocks! I have tried to contact the local DAR and I don't see working phone numbers on your website. I can be reached at 897-5058