Old Burlingame Burial Ground
It looks like an ordinary car-dealership from the road, but driving behind the building your eyes are met by a small hill from the past. Your past as residents of Norwich. My past as a decendent of the people buried on that small plot of land.
If I had not been there it would be hard to visualize the hill, that takes me back five generations to my ancestors whose bodies rest there. It takes me back in time to June 19th at 2:00 in the year 1889. The place is that same hill but in 1889 it was in a field on the farm of my gggrandfather--Charles Burlingame. The farm was originally a log cabin built by Charles Burlingame's parents. Joshua and Jerusha (Enos) Burlingame.
Charles is being laid to rest that day June 19th 1889, in that field on his farm. The service being conducted by Rev. DR Hayes of Troy, who for many years was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Norwich.
A part of his funeral included the following - We have gathered, dear friends. to pay the last token of respect to the body of one of that company of pioneer fathers that left their New England homes, for this El Dorado, which was seventy-five years ago the far west.
Think about these words echoing across the fields in that year 1889. Did any of those people at that funeral service even imagine, that the field where they were standing would someday stand in the middle of a parking lot. Although their vision of the future was of great changes, I believe this was beyond their farsighted images.
You as townspeople did not know these citizens who stood on that hill. I as a decendent did not know them. But it is written and it did take place, that funeral, on that hill, which now stands in a parking lot, in a car dealership in Norwich, NY.
It was not difficult for me standing in the Old Burlingame Burial ground, feeling the soft breeze gently ruffling my hair. To hear those words of the funeral speech, echoing across the years as I stood looking at the gravestones of my gggrandparents. The same tree shaded me from the summer sun, it could have been a farmers field, that area inside the fence. Walking up the old cement steps and passing between the fence post with the flags mounted on each side, was like going back in time. Were these same trees in that field, if so they must have been little more then seedlings?
For the image to retain in my memory I choose to block out the parking lot and the car dealership and stand once again, in a cemetery, in a farmers field, in a place called Norwich, NY.
written by Donna Burlingame Gividen
Information on graves Collected by "EM" Wightman
30 Aug 1998
GPS Coordinates: 42.52048, -75.5092
- Added: 24 Mar 2010
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2347309
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