Meeting House Hill Cemetery Association
The Meeting House Hill Cemetery Association is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization which supports and manages the Meeting House Hill Cemetery and historic site in Brattleboro, VT. A Board of Trustees provides leadership and financial management of the Cemetery including groundskeeping and upkeep.
History of the Meeting House Hill Cemetery Association
The Meeting House Hill Cemetery Association was founded by Mr. Ezra Fisher circa 1899, according to the Vermont Phoenix newspaper:
For several years it has been the desire of Ezra Fisher to improve and beautify the cemetery on Meeting House Hill. In fact, he has spent considerable time and money in so doing. Since the death of his son, Leslie Fisher, whose body was buried in this beautiful spot, his interests in this project have been quickened.
Last fall he bought a strip of land on the south side of the old cemetery, comprising about one and one-fourth acres, of Will Thurber, which has been divided into 156 lots, most of which are 10 by 20 feet in size. The wall on the south side of the old part has been moved to the rear of the new part, forming a back wall. A substantial iron fence, enclosing the grounds, has been begun and will be completed in the spring. Mr. Fisher has caused a receiving vault to be built of brick and stone. He has also placed a fine granite monument on the family lot.
It was through Mr. Fisher that the Meeting House Hill Cemetery Association was incorporated. There has been renewed effort on the part of several who have relatives buried there, in the past few years, to keep the ground in better shape than formerly.
The cemetery is on a height of land back of the village and a more beautiful spot would be hard to find. It is particularly interesting from the fact that on the land recently bought by Mr. Fisher was built the first meeting house in town. The actual location of the meeting house has been determined by measurements and surveys from old records looked up by Hon. H. H. Wheeler. It was found in a lot near the centre of the new part.
The location has a suitable granite marker, placed there by Mr. Fisher, on which is the following inscription: “The first meeting house in Brattleboro was built here A.D. 1768.” In digging for the foundation of this marker ample proof was found that right there was the fire-place in the old meeting house, showing that the survey was correct. In several places about the hill can be found indications that buildings stood there long ago.
The first burial in this cemetery occurred in 1765, the body being that of Elizabeth Wells. The old road running over this hill and through the valley to Guilford can be traced in the summer time. There are many slate headstones in the cemetery, some of which are so old and have become so affected by the action of the weather that the inscriptions upon them are almost indiscernable.
Source: “BEAUTIFYING THE CEMETERY: Notable Improvements Which Are Being Made by Ezra Fisher on Meeting House Hill”, Vermont Phoenix, January 6, 1899.