Old War of 1812 veteran’s gravesite in jeopardy

Photo by the Associated Press

There has recently been a controversial legal case in the news where a Vermont man purchased an old farmstead and wants to build a house on the site of an old family cemetery. Because the cemetery holds the grave of a veteran of the War of 1812 and his family, the proposed move of the cemetery to accomodate the prospective new owner’s wishes to use the site for his new house has created a firestorm of controversy. Once again, the bottom line seems to be property owners’ rights versus the historic interest of the general public. Not dissimilar to battlefield preservation efforts (but on a much smaller scale), this battle promises to be of considerable interest to ACW preservation buffs and anyone else interested in the topic of preservation.

The new owner bought the property on the contingency that he would be allowed to relocate the cemetery, although it is not clear exactly how many people are interred in the site. He is claiming individual rights as a property owner. The preservationists have been joined by a family member, who does not the land and her ancestors disturbed.

What do you think? Should the government allow the man to move the cemetery and build whatever he wants on his own land? Or, should the man be forced to keep the cemetery where it is, thereby negating his purchase contract? Or, what compromise would you suggest?

Categories: Preservation efforts, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Old War of 1812 veteran’s gravesite in jeopardy

  1. Larry Morris

    I always ask myself, what is the historical interest in a site.
    In this case i guess it is the remains and maybe the gravestones and not the actual cemetary. So i would say if they can be preserved it would be OK.

    now there maybe other legal issues, i am just talking as a preservationist.

  2. Darkoath

    Well it seems that the family themselves didn’t care enough about their ancestors to keep the land and gravesite in their own family. I have no problem allowing the man to move the gravesite as long as it is done with respect. The site itself is after all just the place the man was buried, not where he actually fell during the war of 1812. This site might not even be his original burial place.

  3. Linda in Lancaster

    Do you know the outcome of this? I’d be interested to find out.

  4. Hello Linda in Lancaster!

    There has been nothing recently on the news on this matter. I believe it is tied up in the courts.

    Scott in York

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