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Saturday visit to Barre, Vermont

July 22, 2007

Long hours working during the week prompted my short-drive excursion to a Vermont town last weekend. It is Barre, home to the famous Rock Manufacturer and one of the most architecturally diverse cemetery.

Rock of Ages, Barre

Barre, Vermont – the Granite Capital of the world

Rock of Ages quarry at Barre

“Rock of Ages” is the largest quarrier in North America and the
world’s largest manufacturer of granite memorials. I was surprised to
find out about:

  • Many beautiful granites, artistic stone and I bought three pieces as mementos of my visit.
  • Rock of Ages history started in the 17th century, very long ago. Its history spans across many stages in US history and Vermont history e.g. the Great Depression, the Great Flood.
  • They built many famous memorials for the world for example the WWII memorial in Washington.

WWII memorial in Washington DC

  • They love to make works that last forever, beyond even the lifetime of the thing makers..
  • The manufacturing process (in the documentary movie) is wonderful – they can process the whole “mountain”

+ First, diamond drill is used to “cut” the quarry chunks
+ Electrical explosion (bomb) to further separate
+ Many processes with precision machines, flooding, polishing to fine tune to stones.

Manufacturing division

  • The view from the top of the quarry looks great. The quarry makes the water below change to the green color.

Hope Cemetery

Map of Hope cemetery

Hope Cemetery is located about 20 minutes drive from Rock of Ages Inc, on a quiet roadside of a village in Barre. The whole scene is very serene and quite away from houses of residents. I very much felt the serenity of the air and the peace of people who rest here.

Hope Cemetery features rich memorial designs. Refer to the links in Vermont visit for see more. I extract here few of them.

Orlandi – a Greek design

Bettini – a favorite chair

And many more, most of them describe a personality or a surname of the deceased. People express regrets for their loved ones, altogether show a love for life and humanity. I quote here few lines that I remember.

  • Every yesterday, a dream of memories
    Every tomorrow, a vision of hope.
  • A Bible admonition
    Since I have loved thee. Love one another.
  • A deep regret of having to part with the loved one
    If tears could build staircases
    And memories were a ladder
    I will climb to heaven
    And bring you back again
    I love this one, so moving.

Living loved one visits and places under the tomb of the deceased mementos to express love, be it a flower, a bunch of flowers, a small statues, a brooch, an ornament.

There were a group of people visiting their loved one. They might not know all of each other. Each of them introduced themselves to the extended family and shared their personal memories with the deceased. It was joy-reminding, not much a mournful sign. After all, life is a journey. We all rest in the final home.

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