Rhodes Island is one of the regions in the United States that is endowed with historical resources. However, the most unique and often ignored of these resources are the region’s cemeteries. There are approximately three thousand historic cemeteries of different sizes in the region with some being small family lots and others being large well architecture and manicured garden cemeteries.
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Unfortunately most of the cemeteries in the area, particularly the smaller lots, have been neglected and have over time turned into nothing more than unkempt parchments of land with headstones strewn all over. With cemeteries containing critical information regarding the personal details of persons including their occupations, religions and family background, it is understandable why these historical cemeteries need to be given due appreciation.
The Ebenezer Fuller Family lot located on Hall Lane off of Hope Road is numbered Cranston historical cemetery CR039 (Friends of Cranston). It has been registered at the Cemeteries Affairs of the Veterans Program and it is listed as one of the regions whereby vandalism is punishable by law.
There are 16 people buried in the lot between year 1815 and 1871 with 7 of them coming from the Fuller family, five from the Thayer family, two are Fenners (Friends of Cranston). The Fullers include a Caroline, two Ebenezers, an Ann Frances, an Elizabeth and two Lucy Anns. An Amy, a Rachel, a smith, a Mary and a Thomas are Thayers buried on the lot. The remaining three persons are an Almira Boss, a Willie King and a Franklin Smith (Friends of Cranston).
The cemetery was most active in December 1848, experiencing the burials of Lucy Ann Fuller and Amy Thayer, whose deaths had five days between them (Friends of Cranston). Currently, the cemetery is in very bad shape with most of the tombstones having either broken or fallen down due to natural effects. Some of the headstones lie haphazardly and it would take a keen family member to establish the proper graves on which they belong.
There is no planned growth on the lot and most of the trees around have aged and dried up. The degradation of the trees has resulted in an accumulation of a huge amount of growth-depressing humus on top of the graves. This therefore means that even in favorable climatic conditions, grass in the lot only grows in patches. The cemetery, measuring 25 ft by 35 ft is positioned approximately 10ft South of Hall Lane Road and neither has an enclosure nor a sign indicating its ownership.
With a surface area of 851 square feet, Ebenezer Fuller Family Lot can comfortably accommodate over 30 graves. It is therefore left for historians to establish whether there are more than the aforementioned sixteen individuals buried in the land. The property has never been sold and like many other historical cemeteries within the region, it is open to rehabilitation by any individual(s) of goodwill.
One of the organizations that are making an effort in trying to get the cemetery back to shape include the Friends of Cranston Historical Cemeteries; an entity that has through its website appealed for individuals to volunteer information or resources that could help in taking care of this particular cemetery. The appeal states in part that the maintenance of historical cemeteries is important for future genealogists and historians (Friends of Cranston).
Friends of Cranston Historical Cemeteries. To locate and promote the encouragement of the care of Cranston’s many historic cemeteries. n.p., 2009. Web.