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.”