Grave Concerns: Keeping Up Good Work at EG-006

by | Sep 3, 2017

From left: Volunteers Felicia, Hallie and John Comer; Joanne Balzamo; Rev. Randall Curtis, Frenchtown Baptist Church; Bill Jones; and Alan Clarke. Standing on the wall in back is Dave Baribault. Not pictured: Earl Atkin and Kathy Healey, the Town Cemetery Commission member who took the picture.

Saturday, August 26th, saw East Greenwich Historical Cemetery Commission volunteers attack the weeds and overgrowth at the cemetery at the intersection of Stone Ridge and Granite Drives. This cemetery has members of the Spencer and Briggs families dating back to the late 1700s. Surrounded by a great stone wall obviously built with loving care by their families, this little cemetery, like most private family cemeteries in town, has not been well cared for until recently. One of the neighbors told me her father visited for two weeks every year and while he was here, he attended to cleaning it. After he passed away, the cemetery languished and overgrew until the town’s Republican Town Committee committed to get it back under control. And that they did. Many trees were removed, many roots pulled up, and once it was under control, the Republicans maintained it for five years. Recently other projects needed attending to and the GOP moved on, at least for awhile. Not wanting to lose ground that the Republicans had at great effort gained, the town commission selected this cemetery for one of its summer cleanups. Soft foliage had grown to around 3 feet since the last clean up and the volunteers attacked these plants with both power equipment and good old-fashioned rakes and clippers. In all, volunteers within a two and a half hour period filled 46 lawn-bags and left a few piles of twigs for the town’s Parks and Recreation Department to pick up.
The East Greenwich Historic Cemetery Commission wants to thank this week’s volunteers, pictured above, for their fine work. We also want to thank the town’s Republican Town Committee for their excellent work getting this historic resting place for our early pioneers under control once again. Obviously we are appreciative for the neighbor’s father for his efforts during what should have been, for him, a vacation time. As always, the Parks and Recreation Departments removing away the brush we leave behind is crucial to us getting our own work done. We promise to keep EG-006 up from here on.
The East Greenwich Historic Cemetery Commission is always looking for volunteers on cleanups. Upcoming cleanups are scheduled at our monthly meetings and times and locations are sent out to registered volunteers by email. If you wish to get on the mailing list, send a message to Kathy Healey at [email protected].
In addition to cleanup volunteers, the Commission is seeking volunteers to adopt and manage any of the 75 or so little roadside and backyard cemeteries in the town. Many of these are easy to access and really require very little work to maintain. If interested in adopting a cemetery, contact Alan Clarke at [email protected]. I can show you several cemeteries in the area of your choice and if necessary, the town commission will get it cleaned up so that very little has to be done. Usually these cemeteries only need a mowing 3 or 4 times during the summer. If mowed regularly, they do not need much raking, if any at all.
– Alan Clarke

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  1. Brian McLevedge

    Is there a resource in town to find out who is buried in EG and where? I was told my grandfather is buried here. His name – Joseph Burley.

    • Alan Clarke

      Brian – We have pretty complete records of everyone interred in East Greenwich. Contact me at my email address at the end of the article and I will be glad to help you find your grandfather. I need to ask few questions because he was not among the Burleys that I could find easily. — Alan Clarke


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