Charlemont — Cemeteries

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      The oldest burying-ground in town is a little west of Charlemont village, on the hill-slope, overlooking the surrounding country. Here are buried the men massacred by the Indians, half a mile east, in 1755, and others interred subsequently to the number of a dozen, chiefly members of the Rice family. A plain tombstone, engraved after the rude manner of those days, is inscribed,

"In Memory of Capt Moses Rice, who was kill'd by the Indians in this place, June ye 11th, 1755, in ye 61st year of his age, and lies at the right hand. "In Memory of Mr Phineas Arms, who was kill'd by the Indians in this place, June ye 11th, 1755, in ye 24th year of his age, and lies at the left hand."

This event is better commemorated by a square granite monument, about 12 feet high, which was erected over their graves in 1872, by Orlando B. Potter, of New York, a native of Charlemont, and a descendant of Capt. Rice on the female side. On the south face of the monument is this inscription:

the first settler of
Born at Sudbury, Oct. 27, 1694.
M. Sarah King, of S.,
Nov. 16, 1719,
Removed to Charlemont 1742,
Killed by the Indians
June 11, 1755."

      The west face is devoted to Phineas Arms, and the remaining sides to the Rice family.
      In this ground is also a plain stone,

      "Sacred to the memory of Deacon Aaron Rice and Freedom, his wife, who, having sustained the hardships of an infant frontier settlement in time of war, having reared a family of eleven children, six of whom are interred in this ground, and lived together in happy wedlock fifty years, departed this life, the first, Dec. 9, 1808, aged eighty-four; and the other, Sept. 15, 1809, aged seventy-nine.
      "'Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.'"

      A few years ago the town appointed a committee to inclose this ground with a stone fence, but this has not yet been done.
      The oldest public cemetery is about two miles east of the village, and was presented to the town before 1771 by Cob Jonathan White. It has been inclosed by a substantial stone fence, and its general appearance is quite attractive. In the same locality is another cemetery, and at East Charlemont, by the church, is a well-kept place of interment. At the village of Charlemont is a fine burying-ground, and west of this place, toward and near Zoar, are three more small cemeteries, making eight in all in the town. This large number has prevented any of them from being as neatly kept as they might be under more favorable circumstances, yet none of them are suffering from neglect.

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15 Jul 2005