United Church of Christ
First Congregational Church
Way Back When
by Margaret Morabito, Church Historian
Meeting House Cemetery
Ken Raymond, of the Rindge Historical Society, is very familiar with Rindge history and our cemetery’s population. For Mr. Raymond, a walk through the graveyard is like a visit with old friends. He has been documenting the grave sites in our Meeting House Cemetery for several years now. You can see some of his excellent work online at Find-A-Grave (click here: Find-A-Grave - Meeting House Cemetery). Ken is in the process of posting biographies of those buried in the Meeting House Cemetery, along with photos of their gravestones. These photos show the inscriptions and artwork etched into the gravestones. It is amazing to see many of the oldest gravestones in very good shape, although some have fallen over and remain face down in the grass. (Wouldn’t it be nice if we could resurrect these fallen stones for future generations to see?) More could be written about the carving styles of the artwork and the lyrics on these gravestones. Perhaps in a future article.
In addition to Mr. Raymond’s work, there is also a book, Gravestone Inscriptions of Rindge, New Hampshire: Old Meetinghouse Churchyard, compiled by Lewis L. Gregory, Jr.. This lists all of the people who have headstones in the Meeting House Cemetery, and it includes gravestone inscriptions, the material of the gravestone, its condition, location identifier numbers, as well as a map. The Historical Society owns the rights to this interesting book, has a copy, and intends to publish it in the future. While the cemetery has been closed to new burials since Emily Wood’s in 1986, it is always open for visitors. So, when you have some free time, take a walk in the Meeting House Cemetery. You will see many familiar names from way back when.
(Sources consulted are Stearn’s History of Rindge, New Hampshire 1736-1874; Find A Grave; Customs and Fashions in Old New England by Earle; Death and Dying in the 18th and 19th Centuries by McGowan; ThePuritan-Colonial Years (1650-1820) by Windham Connecticut Cemeteries; and the Rindge Historical Society.)
6 PAYSON HILL ROAD
RINDGE, NH 03461