Lyndeborough planning expansion of cemetery

LYNDEBOROUGH – The South Cemetery will be gradually expanded over the next few years to encompass a lot on the northern side.

The 10-acre parcel was deeded to the town by the state in the early 1970s when the James A.G. Putnam flood control dam was constructed.

“We’ve been talking about this for years,” cemetery Trustee Ginny Chrisenton said at an informal informational hearing on May 21. “It seems like now is the time to do it.”

The area has been surveyed by Bay State Forestry Service, of Newberry, who will oversee the operation on behalf of the trustees. The project has been put out to bid.

About two acres directly behind the “new” part of the cemetery, located along Cemetery Road beside the flood control land, will be clear cut. The rest will be selectively cut.

“We hope to get money enough to have the area stumped and cleared,” she said. “(Road agent) Kent Perry has been stockpiling soil so when we need to use the area it will be good soil and not rocks and gravel.”

Trustee Bob Rogers said the “nice trees” will be left in order to make a park-like cemetery in the future. “The big oaks and maples,” he explained.

It will be a “chip operation,” Chrisenton said, “so there will be nothing left on the ground.”

Estimates are for 325 tons of chips, 15 cords of firewood, and removal of 166 trees of various kinds. The huge old pines in the older part of the cemetery will also be removed “before they fall down,” Rogers said.

A wet area on the western side of the lot will be protected.

The work is expected to take about a year.

Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be suspended during burials.

For those wishing to view the proposed work site, entrance is from the flood control property. All trees to be removed have been marked with blue ribbons.

The South Cemetery is the only burial ground in town which is still open. The other six are totally full and closed, restricted to neighbors, or have room only for urn burials.

Any comments may be left at the town office.