Revolutionary War veteran gets new resting place

Published: May. 28, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT
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WEYBRIDGE, Vt. (WCAX) - A Revolutionary War veteran laid to rest nearly 200 years ago got a new final resting place this Memorial Day weekend.

Josiah Clark fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill when he was 18 years old. The Revolutionary War veteran was laid to rest 187 years ago at the Brittle Azra Stow Cemetery in Weybridge, which has been dubbed the most endangered cemetery in the state due to slope failures and erosion.

Josiah was buried next to his wife, Lucy. “Lucy had had already ridden the slope failure down the bank. They were starting to fear that perhaps that was the case with Josiah. He was buried quite deep,” said Donald Mason of the Weybridge Stowe Cemetery Committee.

Groups like the Weybridge Stow Cemetery Committee, the town of Weybridge, and the Vermont Old Cemetery Association knew they had to do something to preserve the history of the Stow Cemetery and prevent losing any more human remains. They’ve spent the past few years partnering with archaeologists to find remains and clean up the First Weybridge Hill Cemetery just down the road.

“We had to straighten the stones, make it look presentable, cut the brush so it would be an appropriate spot for Josiah Clark and the other members of the Stow cemetery,” said Tom Giffin of the Vermont Old Cemetery Association.

Saturday, the remains of Josiah Clark were relocated from the Stow Cemetery to the newly tidied First Weybridge Hill Cemetery, where he will continue to rest.

“There’s no doubt it’s the right thing to do. These people represent the history of the town as well as the history of the country,” said Mason.

A horse-drawn carriage and a proper burial ceremony with military honors surrounded by townspeople witnessing history.

“When the erosion happened it was pretty upsetting and it was really interesting to see the archeologists step up and take good care of the remains,” said Kate Smith of Middlebury, whose family shares property with the Stow Cemetery. She says it’s a privilege to have watched these groups save the remains of Josiah and others. “It’s incredible to see all these people who are working so hard to make this happen - an important part of our history.”

After years of preservation and archeology, Giffin says they’re done with their work here just yet. “We have some more remains that will be disinterred soon and they will be brought here,” he said.

For now, Josiah Clark will continue his eternal rest and be honored in his new home of the Weybridge Hill Cemetery, among the dozens of other gravestones tucked away.

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