~ Elaine Giacomo

John Sandri in the treetops

The Nelson Cemetery Board takes every opportunity to visit our town’s lovely cemeteries, but the business part of these visits is to determine what needs to be repaired, removed, or trimmed. Last autumn, a stroll through the town’s oldest cemetery (henceforth referred to as Cemetery One) revealed dying trees and limbs that threatened some of the cemetery’s oldest headstones.

To address this problem, we included money in our 2022 budget to remove these trees and limbs. Board member Laurie Smith interviewed a number of area arborists, and the Cemetery Board selected King Pine Tree Service out of Harrisville.

Owner John Sandri tackled the project in June, after the ground beneath the trees had settled, and the results were spectacular. He carefully removed one tree from a space surrounded by 200-year-old headstones, dropping the tree between them. He did the same with the second tree and the overhanging limbs, all the while avoiding any damage to headstones.

Shortly after this work was done, the cemetery was visited by a microburst, or equivalent, which did damage to many parts of town. Amazingly, mother nature also did not inflict damage on headstones, but the situation reinforced the importance of ongoing preventative maintenance and increased diligence in anticipating precarious situations.

Below – Mother Nature takes her toll. 

A very sad story . . .

The earliest known graves in the Nelson Cemetery are for the three children of Jamez and Eunice Hill. Mary (2), Enoch (4), and Luther (3) all died in 1777.