Tombstone Tuesday: The Naramore Children, Riverside Cemetery

(Original Images and Text, Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) This was definitely one of the most interesting cemetery experiences I've ever had. Last week I drove out, or tried to drive out, to Riverside Cemetery in Barre, MA to take a photo of the Naramore memorial for my post, COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 1). I checked MapQuest before I went and plugged the details into my GPS. I knew the cemetery was in the Barre Falls Dam area. The town of Coldbrook Springs no longer exists as a town as it was taken by the state for the dam in 1930.

I drove down three separate dirt roads which became narrower, rockier, and more remote. On the last road, according to my GPS, I was only about 500 feet from the cemetery, but the road looked questionable at best. I decided to double check my information and try again another day. Over the weekend I confirmed the location with another researcher familiar with the area. Yesterday I tried again following her directions. I found the cemetery without a problem.

When I got out of my car it was like traveling back in time. The Riverside Cemetery is remote and silent, far from any traffic sounds. I walked through the wooden arch at the front of the cemetery and eventually found the Naramore memorial down a hill, away from the main part of the cemetery. I will say the memorial wasn't exactly what I was expecting with all of the offerings left on and around the stone.

I took my pictures and left for the day. While I drove around the area, I noticed the Barre Falls Dam area is dotted with little old cemeteries--Parker Cemetery, Coldbrook Cemetery, and Riverside Cemetery. There's something kind of interesting, and maybe a little sad about them. Whether it's an accurate statement or not, at least to me, they almost seem like people and places that time forgot.


Lisa Swanson Ellam said...


I have spent this summer tracking down old, abandonded cemeteries that my family is buried in and I know just what you mean. It feels like time has forgotten the places and the people. How wonderful that you found the cemetery!

Carol said...

Very interesting, the gate is fab, love the photo. I am always taken back a bit by memorials and trinkets left like here, but, goodness, that is a LOT of trinkets!!

Cynthia Shenette said...

Lisa, I noticed from your blog you too have had luck tracking down family in old cemeteries. Good for you! Riverside is a fascinating place, and I hope to get back there when I have a little more time to really look around. I love the last sentence of your comment by the way. Only a genealogist/family historian would use the words "wonderful" and "cemetery" in the same sentence!

Thanks for your comment!

Cynthia Shenette said...


You are right. The gate is fab! There's another one near the Naramore memorial. I wanted to take a picture of it, but the sunlight wasn't right for a photo. The arch over the other gate says, "In God We Trust."

I was taken aback a bit by all the trinkets on the stone. I wasn't expecting it. It kind of reminds me of the offerings left in the cemeteries in New Orleans. You don't really see that in New England. At least I haven't.

Thanks for your comment!

Kerry Scott said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gasped at the sight of all of the trinkets. I would definitely not have expected that, especially on a grave so old.

It's nice that those children are being remembered though.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Kerry - I agree. It is nice for those children to still be remembered today. At first I thought all of those trinkets were sort of disrespectful, but when I thought about it a little more, who am I to decide what's appropriate. I was struck by the number of Matchbox/Hotwheels cars. Seeing those little cars, kind of "brought it home" for me. Maybe that's a good thing, that we still feel an emotional connection 109 years later.

Susan Lambert said...

Can anyone send me info about the Parker cemetery I went last Sunday saw a couple old graves was interested on the history behind them what was in the woods in the 17/18 centurys was there homes buildings. In there I'm at I'm into history of very old gravesites etc