The Banner article of December second about Vermont Cemeteries stated that the cemetery in Old Bennington was "on the property of the Old First Church."

The Old First Church building does not rest on land owned by the Church. In 1762 the selectmen set aside a three-acre parcel of land to be used for a church, a burial ground, and a pound, which would have been used for stray livestock. That three acres of land is still owned by the town.

The first church building was built on land, which is a green today, and it was part of the three acre parcel.

In 1805 the present "Old First Church" was built over part of the burial ground, and most of the bodies were left where they were interred. However, the grave stones were moved out of the way of the construction, and later they were set up along the north side of the church.

In 1907 the Vermont legislature chartered the Bennington Centre Cemetery Association to care for and to maintain the cemetery. The oldest part of the cemetery is still owned by the town, and the newer sections are owned by lot owners and the Cemetery Association. Most of the newer lots were purchased in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the descendants of the original lot owners are unknown, and the Cemetery Association has to maintain the propteries. Fortunately, the Cemetery Association has a small endowment, which covers the cost of routine maintenance, but it is not enough to pay for major repairs to grave stones or the handsome fence on Monument Avenue.

CHARLES DEWEY

Bennington