We started the day about 10am in Ripton, VT having heard about the “Galvin Cemetary” which we assumed was the final resting place for some of our ancestors. For some reason I couldn’t get the song “Monster Mash” out of my head as we walked past the grave stones. (“It was a graveyard smash.”)
Ripton is a very nice little village, and I mean little. It has a church, a one room school house, a community center and a general store. Jessica Ravitz of CNN said that the town “is the kind of place where cell service fails more often than it works and the country store is really just
that….Tibetan prayer flags wave outside a weather-worn home, and the fog lifts to reveal a white horse grazing in a field”. The last census listed the population at 588. It was also the summer home of poet Robert Frost and hosts the world renown Breadloaf Writers conference every summer.
From the time I could snow ski, at about 4 years old, I passed that cemetary every Saturday and Sunday for the entire ski season and never, ever, noticed it. I attribute this revelation to the Ripton Historical Society’s installing new signs at places of historical significance, and to my sister-in-law Sue’s finding online information regarding this cemetary.
We found tombstones of a few Galvin ancestors and I had my digital ancestry directory already open on my phone so we could compare the engraving to the written records. It had to be open because as Jessica said, there is NO cell service there. Galvin was my mother’s maiden name, and my middle name. Rosie saw a pet cemetary behind the people cemetary and ran off to see who was there and if she knew anyone. While we were there we heard a lone cow bell eerily ringing regularly off in the distance. I began to think it was a “Pet Semetary.” We left soon after.
A number of the graves were either moved or simply memorialized at a road side marker in East Middlebury on Rt 125. According to the ancestry documents and grave marker the family memorialized here was my great great grandfather. Also on the stone was his son, my great grandfather.
After returning to Middlebury we stopped at a war monument in the small green next to the Middlebury Inn. I knew my father’s brother was listed on one side of the monument, but was surprised to see my mother’s side of the family was memorialized on the other.
My father’s brother James died in WW1 and two Galvin’s in the Civil War. Our family had yet moved from Massachusetts to west central Vermont for the Revolutionary and French and Indian wars and therefore were not listed. However, we were represented in the Battle of Breed’s Hill near Boston.
The next stop was at the Farmer’s Market located on Exchange Street in Middlebury.
There are all sorts of garden produce as well as locally produced arts and crafts for sale and was well worth the trip. There is also a taco vendor “Tac-O de Town“ located near there who makes amazing tacos which we had for lunch.
Returning to the lake, John and Kris took us for a tour of the lake noting all the changes and all our old hang outs, fishing spots and jumping rocks, before we settled in for a nice water day, dozing and drinking beer on the deck.