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Monday, January 18, 2010
"Cemeteries in Crisis"
The cemetery is located in an area called The Eastern Townships in Quebec, just over the Vermont border. My ancestors all spoke English and now, both English and French is spoken.
There has been quite a bit of correspondence the past few days between me and both the archivist and curator of the The Missisquoi Musuem and Historical Society. Last week, I posted an article about my ancestor's Revolutionary War Redcoat and then about the new Canadian stamp. In an email, Heather, the curator wrote me stating, "There has been some good news on the Ten Eyck site as we have actually found it again. The fact still remains however that it is an abandoned site and at the moment as far as I know, it has no caretaker or funds to maintain it. Judy (the archivist) and I plan to go into it this summer and photograph each stone and update the information we have that was recorded in the 1970s. The Ten Eyck site is just a classic example of what is happening all over the Townships. At least it has be re-discovered and will be marked on our maps."
Since I took individual photos, and had them enlarged to the 8" x 10" size, I wrote back stating that I would be sending them to her. I have to wonder, if I am the only one to have ever taken photos there.
Heather wrote an article on January 18, 2009, how appropriate, a year ago today Missisquoi: Cemeteries in Crisis. I am so fortunate to have seen her article the other day. All of us who love cemeteries know about these problems. Since the article is rather long, I've decided to select several paragraphs to share.
For a number of years, the Missisquoi Historical Society in Stanbridge East has been looking after a number of “orphaned cemeteries” in what was once known as Missisquoi County. The society has provided basic maintenance – essentially regular grass mowing -- at no fewer than seventeen pioneer burial grounds. Most of these sites date back to the early 1800s when the first settlers were arriving in this part of Quebec. A number of these sites suffered neglect over the years before being taken under our wing. Some of them are on private property; title to others is sketchy at best.
Quite a few sites were located on private land. Here again, some landowners were willing to give us permission to visit the site, while others could not be reached. Of course, the fact that a cemetery is located on private land does not mean that it is looked after. The Wing burial ground, which is found in an apple orchard, is ignored by the landowner. The Ten Eyck site, in another orchard, has likely been destroyed."