The Walker Graveyard

“Sunday Picnic in the Cemeteries”

by Howland Atwood

Carleton Eastman’s first wife was Cyrena Walker.  Carleton Eastman’s second wife was Ann Henderson, who came from New York State and was supposed to be of Dutch descent.  Carleton Eastman died in 1859 and Mrs. Ann Eastman later married Elihu H. Pitkin.  Their daughter, Lucy M. Eastman, who married Charles Carter was Nellie Murphy’s mother and great grandmother of Priscilla Atwood.  Lucy Eastman Carter is buried beside her mother.  The Pitkins had two younger daughters, Mrs. Lottie Dunbar and Mrs. Hattie Cavanaugh and a son Sid Pitkin. The Pitkins lived in a house later owned successively by Mary Perkins, Raymond and Alice Burke and Arthur James.

James Hyland, whose two young children are buried here, lived in Hartland Four Corners in a house that stood on the east end of the garden spot, just south of the barn that burned down recently on the Skunk Hollow Tavern property.  James Hyland once had a blacksmith shop near the site of the present Universalist Society, Mr. Hyland may have had the Varney blacksmith shop built.  Mr. Hyland’s daughter, Calista, married H. B. Watriss and is said to have been given their house as a wedding present.  Her granddaughter, Blanche (Leonard) Bagley sold the place to Chester Smith many years later.

Isaac Sargent came to Hartland from Ware, N. H. in 1792, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Isaac N.  The house the latter occupied was built during that year.  The house was taken down in the 1940’s and a house built from the materials in the Bates District by Mr. Winans.  It was beyond Craig’s.

John Barrell was the ancestor of the Barrell families in Hartland.

James Walker came to this town from Massachusetts, in 1781, locating upon the farm now owned by his great-grandsons, J. and S.S. Walker.  The old frame house used by N. F. English as a machine shop was built by James Jr. in 1800.  This farm was owned in the 1930’s by Eldridge Davis and later owned by Audrey Collins.

Elnathan Walker used to manufacture spinning wheels.

Gardner Marcy is said to have lived in the large house in Fieldsville that is now surrounded by the outside storage of materials and that is opposite the Frank French house that is falling down.  Maxwell Evarts is said to have obtained a rare fireplace mantel from the Marcy house for his large new house on Juniper Hill in Windsor.  This Marcy house may have been used as an inn in the days when the mineral water from the place across the road (Frank French’s) was sold and used for its supposed curative properties.  Delia Field said that some of the rooms still had room numbers painted over the doors when her family lived there.  The well was dug deeper to obtain still more water but in the process the mineral vein or content was lost.  John Field is said to have lived in the Frank French house and his son, Wardner L. Field, lived across the road in the Gardner March house.  His wife was Lydia Jennie Weston, a direct descendant of Myles Standish and had an ancient pitcher brought over on the Mayflower.  It has been handed down from generation to generation to a daughter named Lydia.  But Mrs. Fields didn’t like the name Lydia and didn’t give the name to either of her two daughters.  So after her lifetime the pitcher would revert to another line of Standish descendants who did have a daughter named Lydia.  Mrs. Field always went by the name Jennie Field or L. Jennie Field and latter form appears on her gravestone.  The Standish pitcher was in Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts for a number of years.  One year, about 1930 and near Thanksgiving time, Della Field brought over to the Four Corners school, then next door to the Fields’ home, newspaper clippings and a picture of the pitcher to show to the school children.

Mrs. Field’s sister, Mary Weston, who lived in Massachusetts, withdrew the pitcher from Pilgrim Hall many years ago.  Its present whereabouts is unknown.

The Fields had three children, a son, Warren, who never married, Estella who married Elisha Flower and Adella, who in later life became the second wife of Leon Ayers.  In the 1920’s Mrs. Field, Warren, and Della moved to the house at the Four Corners, presently owned by the McLeans.

Curiously, Mr. John Harding is not mentioned in either the Windsor County Gazetteer or the Windsor County History which supplied some of the above information about the Walkers and Sargents.  Dr. John Harding, Sr. lived in Charlotte Gilbert’s house.  Dr. John Harding, Jr. lived at the Four Corners.  He built the house now owned by Mrs. Keffer.  It was build in 1827, not 1820 as a later owner arbitrarily decided and placed the date on the front side of the house.  The six Willard brothers of Mrs. Harding, skilled brick masons, did the work.  Their excellent workmanship is just as evident to this day.  While the house was being built the Hardings lived in the Clifford Coombs house (later Spencer’s) at the foot of Town Farm Hill.  Dr. Harding’s office was in the west end of the frame ell that extends westerly from the main house.  Beyond the office in the end of the ell were open sheds for the storage of carriages and farm equipment.  The sheds continued around the corner of the barn. These open sheds were removed by Mr. Parkes.  Mr and Mrs. James B. Miller occupied Dr. Harding’s office area after they moved down from their farm to the Four Corners to take over the Post Office and they lived at the Harding place until the property was purchased by J. C. Parkes.  The Post Office was then in the east end of the Ladies Aid Hall.  The Millers brought down to the Post Office a long narrow wall cabinet of small drawers from Dr. Harding’s former office.  Each drawer was about 8 x 10 inches and there was a single row of them in a framework.  The knobs were of metal and were fluted.  The drawer fronts had been painted to resemble natural wood graining. They probably originally contained medicines and pills.  The drawers probably remained there until later years when the ground floor of this building was completely changed and renovated into a garage of heavy equipment by Leslie Lyman.  Dr. Harding made a lot of his own medicines and raised herbs for this purpose in the garden south of his house.  Nancy Darling wrote that “Dr. Harding, Sr., a prominent and revered physician lived twenty five years in Hartland.  He had three sons who were physicians, one of them D. John Harding, Jr. continued his father’s work.” in Hartland.  Dr. Hardings’ saddle bags containing hand blown medicine bottles are in the Hartland Historical Society room.  Which Dr. Harding used them is uncertain, perhaps both did.  Analdo English said that Dr. John Harding had a big grape arbor and mulberry trees in the lot on the south side of the house — beyond the driveway.  He raised silkworms, bees and herbs.  He used to put a beehive between his legs and take the bees off a grapevine with his hands with no protection whatsoever.  He always moved very cautiously when handling bees, being careful not to excite them and in this way handled bees easily.  John Harding III had a marble shop for the manufacture of gravestones in a building that stood between the Lobdell store and the Mills Billings blacksmith shop (Gene Driscoll’s home) building.  A France frenchman, Joe Hodet, carved the little lambs and other designs.  The marble shop building was later moved up on High Street by ox teams to become the house where Photographer Brousseau now lives.  During Millard White’s ownership this house was renovated and enlarged to its present form.

A government marker for Ichabod Hatch was placed perhaps after Mr. Byron Ruggles compiled his record of the gravestones, which he did about 1907.  Icabod Hatch, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, was the ancestor of Arthur Hatch and Lillian Marcotte.

Frank Sargent was the last of the Sargent family to live on the Sargent farm before it was acquired by Allen Britton.

At present, no information is known about the other persons buried in this small cemetery, other than what is recorded on their gravestones.  There are graves marked only by rough field stones and probably some of the graves were not marked at all.  Probably most of the people lived in nearby houses.  The Hartland land records may reveal some information, but some may not have owned land.  Therefore any type of record at all is very important and should never be destroyed — school district records, merchant’s account books, family papers, newspapers, old letters, etc., for such may contain the only record of some former resident, even though but mere mention of a name.

The Windsor County Gazetteer on page 144 states that “Capt. Caleb Hendricks, from Massachusetts, was among the earliest settlers.  He located with his father, upon the farm now owned by J. and S. S. Walker.  They brought with them two slaves, Caesar Brockey and his brother and located them upon the piece of land adjoining the farm.  A rough stone now marks the colored men’s graves and the spot where stood their cabin.”  This farm on which the Hendricks settled may have been the one on Hendricks Hill, recently the Erroll Rice place, one time home of Veterinarian George D. Wood.  This farm land extended over towards Lull brook.  The Brockey cabin was in this area, once pasture land, now densely forested.  Whether the Hendricks were buried in the Walker Graveyard or not is not known.

Comments are closed.