Group Seeks Donations to Restore Lebanon Cemetery Fixture

  • The fountain at Lebanon's Glenwood Cemetery in the late 1800s. A group is hoping now to restore the now dilapidated fountain to its former glory using old parts and donations. Courtesy Photo Courtesy photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/28/2016 12:15:17 AM
Modified: 7/28/2016 9:16:06 AM

Lebanon — Just a few hundred feet from the Storrs Hill Ski Area lies the final resting place of many historic Lebanon natives. The green, almost secluded patch of land off of Spring Street is lined with the graves of Civil War veterans, influential families and prominent business leaders dating back to the 1880s.

But the Glenwood Cemetery isn’t just home to gravestones and a pretty landscape. A historic fountain once adorned the center of the property, a fixture that a small group now wants to bring back.

“This one means a lot to me because this cemetery is very special,” said Priscilla Gosselin, the Fountain Committee’s leader. “A lot of people come up here and visit this site.”

Gosselin and two volunteers have already worked to restore six fountains over the last few years. Using donated money and fountain parts, the Glenwood Cemetery is the last one on their original list.

“We wanted to bring (fountains) back to the community,” Gosselin said. “A lot of them had disappeared, or were broken or not working.”

So far, they’ve been able to restore the Colburn Park fountain, the Marion Carter fountain at the corner of East Park and Campbell streets, and another on High Street. Gosselin maintains a fountain on her School Street property, and the city restored one in the Old Pine Tree Cemetery.

Last fall, the group unveiled its newest fountain on the downtown pedestrian mall, utilizing about $78,000 in donations.

“It’s a community fountain and we have had such wonderful feedback on it,” Gosselin said. “People think it’s amazing that something like that was out in their community.”

Like the other restoration projects, the Glenwood Cemetery fountain will require a good amount of attention before returning to its former glory. All that’s left of the two-tiered fountain is the concrete base.

The Glenwood Cemetery fountain was likely constructed around the same time burials began on the property. Grave markers date back to the 1880s, around the same time as a historic photo, according to city historian Ed Ashey.

Lebanon Historical Society President Fran Hanchett said people often get the Glenwood and Mount Calvary cemeteries confused. Although there’s little separating the two now, Mount Calvalary was once solely used for the burial of Lebanon’s Catholic community. Glenwood, in turn, was for other Christian denominations.

Hanchett couldn’t date when disintegration of the fountain began, but said the majority of it’s been gone since 2000.

The fountain was in worse shape when Gosselin first laid eyes on it, though. Trees surrounding it became overgrown and obstructed the view.

“When I saw it hidden behind all of those trees coming up here, I thought ‘Oh, my gosh. What a waste,’ ” she said.

Those trees are now gone, paving the way for reconstruction of the fountain to begin.

Gosselin said concrete work estimated to cost $12,000 is needed on the base. The group was already donated two “good-sized” basins and a pedestal, but they need to be repainted and put together by an engineer before the fountain will function.

She said the Timken Foundation and Mascoma Savings Bank both donated to past projects, but there’s hope that more individuals will get involved in this one. Many people have family and friends buried there, she said.

Donations to the Glenwood Cemetery fountain restoration effort can be sent to The Glenwood Cemetery, care of the Lebanon Rotary Club, at P.O. Box 132, Lebanon, N.H. 03766.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.




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