Hope Cemetery, Barre, Vermont

Opened in 1896, this magnificent cemetery is not only a resting place for the dead, but also a showcase of stunning sculpture and art. There are countless websites filled with great photographs of the gravestones. Here’s a good one, and here’s the official site.

With granite quarries close by, Barre became a bustling town of immigrants, especially Italian stoneworkers. It is this unique population that led to such a wondrous cemetery – the gravestones here are often beautiful, and sometimes humorous, sculptures. Soccer balls, cars, lumber trucks, airplanes, as well as lifesize sculptures of the deceased (often-times the carver himself!) or angels – there is so much to behold within this large cemetery.

Soccer ball:

A large “A” for the Arnholm family:

A statue of Jesus:

Even the stones flush to the ground had room for creativity:

I went up for a memorial service of my fiance’s great aunt, and a big family reunion in Barre. Both were lovely. The family up here are descendants of Italian stone workers in the quarries. Here is the stone for Rodolfo Sironi and Luigia Conti, the original immigrants (along with several young children and her second husband Antonio Somaini):

Hope Cemetery is so large, it was impossible to absorb everything in one visit.. all the more reason to come back!

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