Special to Hampton Union

Hampton Union, Tuesday, February 28, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Boy Scout Kevin Buckley, a Winnacunnet High School senior, records information from a headstone at Ring Swamp Cemetery on Park Avenue in Hampton for his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project. [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 Buckley by the Hampton Heritage Commission to make a permanent record of the 372 gravestones in the cemetery.

The project involved documenting each headstone 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 distance between the stones. In addition, volunteers (lid a general cleanup of the cemetery 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 that 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 that includes the data sheets and the cemetery map.

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

Buckley, 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 Domino’s 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 that was used to fund the supplies needed to create the binder.