Hope Cemetery near Barre, Vermont is famous for its white granite headstones. Over three-quarters of them were designed by the very people who occupy the grave.
Barre is home to the “Rock of ages” quarry the largest granite quarry in the world. In the latter part of the 19th century, the quarry attracted artisans from all over the world. They would custom make headstones for people from just about every corner of the earth. In fact, over one-third of all granite headstones in the US originated at the quarry. And every one of the 10,000 monuments in the park was custom made. ost was either designed by the person buried there or by a close friend.
Each headstone is a singular work of art and reveals a bit about the grave’s occupant. Many of the city’s artisan community died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The grounds have become a regional tourist destination and the city promotes the location less as a “graveyard” and more as an outdoor sculpture park.