Special to the Atlantic News

Atlantic News, Friday, March 3, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

SET IN STONE — Percy Annis (foreground) and Chris Larivee are pictured here documenting headstones during a work session held last August in Hampton’s Ring Swamp Cemetery. The task was part of an Eagle Scout project organized by Kevin Buckley of Hampton Boy Scout Troop 177.
[Atlantic News Courtesy Photo]

HAMPTON — Winnacunnet High School senior, Kevin Buckley, of Boy Scout Troop 177 recently completed the documentation of the Ring Swamp Cemetery on Park Avenue in Hampton for his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project.

The project began as a suggestion to Kevin by the Hampton Heritage Commission to make a permanent record of the 372 gravestones in the cemetery.

The project entailed documenting each of the headstones to include pictures, dimensions, material of stone, name of deceased with date of death and inscription, and any special markings or unique qualities of the stone.

In order to create a map of the cemetery, volunteers measured the cemetery and the distance between the stones. In addition, volunteers did a general clean-up of the cemetery grounds and light brushing of lichen from some of the headstones.

Once this information was collected, comparisons were made to previous compilers’ records and a database was created. The final result of the documentation process is a large binder which will be presented to the town of Hampton for its permanent records.

The binder includes a picture and data for each headstone, a detailed map of the cemetery with the location of all stones, as well as three data sheets listing the stones by assigned number, by name, and by date of death. A smaller booklet was also created which includes the data sheets and the cemetery map.

The project also included restoration of the main gate at the entrance to the cemetery, which was rusted and broken. With the generous donation of Vincent Cassidy and Cassidy Brothers Forge, Inc. of Rowley, Massachusetts, the gate was removed and restored.

Kevin, with the help of many Scout and community volunteers, logged more than 450 hours in completion of the project. Special thanks also go to local donors, such as Dominoes Pizza and Lena’s Subs, who donated food to keep volunteers well-fed during the work sessions. In addition, an anonymous person made a cash donation to the project which was used to fund the supplies needed to create the binder.