Stowe’s Old Yard Cemetery

Stowe’s Old Yard Cemetery

Asking the question — who’s buried in Stowe’s Old Yard Cemetery — won’t elicit a punch line like that old Grant’s Tomb joke, but the answers might prove just as interesting.

For the tiny cemetery behind the Akeley Memorial Building in Stowe Village, there are quite a few tales to tell, most left now to one’s imagination as its inhabitants are long dead and mostly forgotten. The Old Yard Cemetery, also known as Center Cemetery, was established in 1797. Its first inhabitant became 12 year-old Willie Utley, who perished in a flood. Utley’s father donated the land for the cemetery, and the boy’s memorial is a unique stone obelisk and can be easily found while strolling through the old, worn headstones.

Also of note is the gravesite of Dr. Daniel Washburn, originally from Brookfield. The good doctor moved to Stowe to get away from his busy medical practice, but his reputation followed and soon he was caring for more patients than ever. Upon his death, Washburn’s property went to the University of Vermont to help establish scholarships for young men studying for the ministry.

According to local folklore, the gravestone of Little Emeline is believed to be Emily of Emily’s Bridge fame. The 100-year-old legend alleges that Emily jumped to her death from the covered bridge in Stowe Hollow after her intended was killed.

— Kate Paine

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