Mt. Tabor Burton Cemetery


By J. P. Cass, 2016

Bolster, A., whose house appears on the 1869 Beers Atlas of Rutland County on an unmeasured road east from the road to Weston, would be Alfred Bolster. He died Sep. 27, 1912 (aged 80) and was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in East Wallingford. In the 1850 census he is a young man living in his father’s household, adjacent to two other Bolster households that look like they are headed by older brothers. One of those households had on older Burton woman in it, and the next household enumerated after that was headed by a younger Burton (not buried in the cemetery). Then, on subsequent pages are a lot of surnames familiar from the cemetery, like Campbells (including Electa) as well as several households of Brittons, with the men all listed as farmers. In 1860, Alfred was enumerated in Landgrove. The 1870 census counts him in Wallingford. So he seems not to have actually been living on his property up on the mountain when the 1869 map was made, and was not buried up there with his wife (Mary Campbell, died 1852 ) – something that often occurred with remarriage.

Cyrus Buffum is in the 1850 census in a household listed halfway down the next page after the Bolsters and right before some Brittons. However, in the 1870 census he is listed at beginning of the census enumeration along with Griffiths, so it appears that he was then living in Brooklyn village. He is shown in that census as being 85, so by the time he was buried in the Burton cemetery in 1879 he would have been in his mid-90s.

By the 1870 census, a lot of the remaining men listed towards the end of the enumeration, and thus in the mountains outside Mount Tabor, are shown as mill owners or workers rather than farmers.

My conclusion is that some of those names on the 1869 map are of property owners but not residents whether the buildings were lived in by anyone like tenants is open to question. [Ogden agrees, noting that one name often appears next to several houses.] Population of the area seems to coincide with the boom in the sheep business in the region kicked off by the imposition of import tariffs in the 1820s, but as the cemetery shows the area seems to have emptied out some time around the Civil War, though it’s not clear exactly when that was given the cluster of Civil War burials that could have just represented ongoing use of old family plots, but that was followed by the near end of burials after the 1860s (only 4 in the 1870s).

The sheep boom went bust in the 1840s due to a combination of factors including much cheaper costs out West (what today we know as the Midwest) and the end of the tariffs, as well as environmental degredation from deforestation and overgrazing – the sheep population in Windsor County to the East was 200 per square mile! Also, looking at the FindAGrave records, I realized that the first interment was a Burton, which probably explains why the cemetery is named after them even if there aren’t very many of them there. The 1850 census shows a Burton household right after the Bolsters, so that was probably Burton land that the cemetery was put on just past the Bolster homestead.

Men in the mountain area were listed as farmers, so if they weren’t raising sheep then what were they raising? I did a quick search on that and found the 1842 History of Vermont which shows 1840 statistics of 883 sheep in Mt. Tabor, which isn’t that significant (unless they were concentrated in that mountain area), and no other major crops that I can obviously tie to the mountain area unless they were growing potatoes or whatever sugar was produced from – could maple syrup production have been significant? One reference that I ran across in the process suggested that 100 sheep was a significant number for a Vermont farm of that era, so perhaps there were a couple of farms with a good number of sheep and also producing whatever crops the mountains yielded. Apparently a variety called Green Mountain potatoes were once a major crop, so perhaps potatoes did well in cleared but rocky mountain terrain.

In the bottom right the box of 1850 statistics shows 210,000 sheep, and about 408,000 acres (almost 2/3 of it “improved”).

1854 map of Rutland County: Beginning at the Long Trail crossing and going east, the names are D. Wood, A. B. Carley*, N. Carley*, J. Hollister, S.H. (Schoolhouse), M. Cook, E. Hutchins, O. Congdon, R. Manning, opposite Manning’s sawmill D. Howard Lime Kiln, D. Simpson, J. Burton*, S.H. (Schoolhouse), D. Powell, and W. Campbell**. 1869 Beers Atlas of Rutland County: Beginning at the Long Trail crossing and going east, the name are S. Smith, N. Tier, B.W. Westcott, H. Dillingham, D. Sawyer, School No. 3, M. Cook, M. Wright, S.L. Griffith, Blacksmith Shop, J. B. Seymour, Sawmill, W. Vaughan, G. Hill, A. Johnson, Edmunds, W. Vaughan, School No. 2, J. C. Ingals, A Bolster*** (on an unmeaured spur past the cemetery, which is not shown), F. Lewis (at end of this spur), W. Vaughan, and A. Lewis. On a 256 rod spur were S. Buffoon* [presumably Buffum] H. W. Britton*, B.B. Britton*, C. Hosley**, and P. Smith. In the extreme southeast corner of town were L. R. Henry, E. Turner and A. Campbell*.

* A different person with the same family name is buried in the Burton Cemetery.

** A person with the same family name and first initial is buried in the Burton Cemetery.

*** The wife of a person with the same family name and first initial is buried in the Burton Cemetery.