Folsom School 3-4 Faces and Places Website
The students in Dr. Robinson's 3-4 Team, along with their library media specialist, Mrs. Sharon Hayes, have created a website all about South Hero history after interviewing townsfolk. Click here to learn about some buildings in town and the famous families that lived there in the past.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Polly McBride’s Legacy Continues with Cemetery Presentation June By Peg Clark (June 1, 2018)
SOUTH HERO- Come join the South Hero Historical Society (SHHS) to learn interesting information and look at pictures of old cemeteries located in South Hero. Ron and Sue Phelps, members of Community Association for the Restoration of Neglected Gravestones (C.A.R.I.N.G), will present this fascinating topic on Friday, June 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m at the Folsom Educational Center. This presentation would not be possible without the amazing insight of lifetime South Hero resident, Elinor “Polly” McBride. Born in 1918, she grew up on Allenholm Farm, one of five older sisters to Ray W. Allen. Polly graduated from Mary Fletcher School of Nursing and received her master’s degree from Columbia University. She married Charlie McBride in 1947 and they raised their two children in South Hero. Polly passed away in early 2018, just one day after turning 100 years old. The idea of C.A.R.I.N.G. came to Polly over three decades ago after one of our infamous island storms. The storm caused a large tree branch to fall and break an extremely old tombstone belonging to a Phelps descendent. Polly was also a Phelps descendent and decided the damaged stone needed to be replaced. While Polly was working on replacing the damaged gravestone, she noticed the “old” part of the cemetery (from the Masonic Lodge to the second gate on South. St.) had many old gravestones in a terrible state of disrepair. The graves in the “old” part of the cemetery date back to the 1700’s. These aging gravestones usually do not have any remaining relatives able to tend to them. This motivated Polly to get a group of people together to help preserve the historic gravestones. Polly founded the non-profit, volunteer organization C.A.R.I.N.G in l984. At first it was mostly cleaning stones and a lot of rubbings. Rubbings, a way of transposing gravestones engravements onto paper using charcoal, were very popular at the time. There are other near forgotten private cemeteries around town. Did you know there is controversy around some historic tombstones in our area? For example, if you examine the rubbing of the tombstone of Lydia Allen, wife of Ebenezer and one of the first settlers on the island, the stone clearly attributes a site in South Hero as her grave. However, a stone located in Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington also claims to be her burial site. Only DNA testing could settle the dispute, but C.A.R.I.N.G. has far too many pressing needs to be able to spend their limited funds digging up remains to confirm. C.A.R.I.N.G. has evolved immensely from when the group began. Members Ron & Susan Phelps are joined by John and Alice Wells. John volunteers his time mowing and installing flags on veterans’ gravestones. The C.A.R.I.N.G. members visit the cemetery and prioritize repair of gravestones by need. The group is funded by donations and receives a small amount requested from the town annually for upkeep. Currently, when someone is buried in the cemetery there is an endowment where relatives of the deceased provide money for the maintenance of the burial site and stone. C.A.R.I.N.G. feels indebted to the many volunteers, past and present, who have helped preserved our heritage. Please come, hear some island history, or share stories of your own family. Everyone is welcome. For easier access, please use the doors in the original brick portion of the school near the library entrance. Location: 75 South St.