Wheeler Hill & Pattenville Cemeteries
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Wheeler Cemetery
[Return to: Wheeler Hill Cemetery Inscriptions at findagrave.com]

     The so-called "Wheeler Hill Cemetery" on the west slope of Wheeler Hill, is really three separate cemeteries adjoined to one another; it is an unusual conglomeration of an old pre-existing cemetery, an even older one that was moved next door, and current burials around the moved cemetery. Plot numbers are unofficial, but indicate in which 'cemetery' the folks were buried.

     The History of Littleton (written in 1895, pub.1905) says, "On the road leading from [Dalton] to the village [of Littleton] is a small burial-place known as the Wheeler Graveyard, taking its name from the neighborhood in which it is located. In it are several generations of the Wheelers, [from Sally (Miller) Wheeler who d. Nov 27 1821] to the 4th generation. Other than the Wheelers and the descendants of their daughters, very few are buried here." A quarter of the space is, however, taken up by the Townes and their descendants, who also lived in this neighborhood.

     When the Samuel Moore Hydroelectric Dam was built; two cemeteries in Waterford, Vt and one in the Pattenville section of Littleton, NH; were to be flooded and were moved. The Pattenville Cemetery (created March 1790) was adjoined to the north boundary of the Wheeler Cemetery in 1955; a new cemetery, Riverside, was created on the Vermont side, just downstream of the dam, and the Upper Waterford and Pike Cemeteries moved there in 1953.
     The layout of these cemeteries was reportedly to be maintained in laying out the new ones. However, this was not adhered to. Not only was the original layout of the Pattenville Cemetery as a whole not followed in any manner, but also, plots within the lots were disarranged; unmarked remains, and those marked by "indistinct" stones, were usually not reburied next to probable family; but, gathered together at the rear of the cemetery and marked "UNKNOWN". For these reasons, original location grave#s are included as part of the plot numbers here. The search continues to find a possible chart co-relating the original grave#s for those re-interred in the "unknowns" section at the back of the relocated cemetery with their present locations.
     All gravestones were photographed (in black and white) in 1955 as an aide to reseting them over the proper graves. No attempt was made to clearly photograph entire inscriptions; indeed, some photos only show the back of stones that were lying face-down. This database includes new (2009) color photos of the still existent stones that are in the most dire condition; plus other stones photo'd at the request of family members.
     The University of Vermont Pathology Department did most of the exhumation work, assisted by some local diggers. They started at one edge of the cemeteries and dug, by hand, through the entire space of the cemeteries. Whenever they came upon a dark streak of earth (indicating organic material aka remains) this material - not just the bones - was placed in a new casket for reburial; if the remains were unmarked, the Power Company provided a gray granite marker inscribed "UNKNOWN" or "INFANT", depending on the size of the remains.

     The Pattenville cemetery does not parallel the road like the Wheeler (where the deceased face East-South-East), but parallels the top of the bank at the rear of the cemetery and the deceased face due South-East. As the lot purchased for this cemetery's move is more or less rectangular and the rows were laid out on a diagonal, spaces were left around it. Lots are currently being sold in these spaces under the name, "Wheeler Hill Cemetery", taking the unofficial name from the hill on whose west slope it's remains sleep; and the entire 3-cemetery group has come to be referred to by that name - although Pattenville descendants more often say, "Pattenville Cemetery at Wheeler Hill".

     Initial transcript of the moved Pattenville Cemetery, 1983, by Eugenia Powers (1913-1985); re-verified, corrected, and supplemented 2009, by Phil Somers, utilizing vital records and 1927-1955 N.E.Power Co. records & B&W gs photos; several dozen additional sketches and color photos, 2009, by him.
     Old Wheeler family and new Wheeler Hill portions transcribed 2009, by Phil Somers.
     Uploads to findagrave.com by Doug Little, 2009.

     It should be noted that birth dates & biographical data in this database may have been obtained from other sources or calculated from DOD on gs minus age on gs - they may be only approximate. Full names, when not included in the gs transcript, most often came from the 1905 printing of the History of Littleton, but other sources were also used. All possible info should be rechecked against other primary sources - there may be typographical errors here and stonecutters occasionally made errors as well.

     Plot numbers for those originally buried in the Pattenville Cemetery are listed left to right, front to back as CurrentSect-Row-Stone#=PlatMapGrid-OrigStone# (e.g."A-1-1=1A-40" means, "currently in Sect A, row 1, 1st stone; was originally in grave #40, grid 1A of the 1927 plat"); comparing new location=to=original location makes it clear that these folks were not reburied in the same order that their loved ones had them buried.
     Plot numbers for Wheeler Cemetery are listed as W+Sect-Row-Stone# - listed left to right, front to back, skipped numbers indicate unmarked spaces which may or may not be graves.
     Plot numbers for the new "Wheeler Hill" burials (Sects C & E) are listed as WH+Sect-Row-Stone# - listed right to left, back to front; (Sect F) is listed as WH+Sect-Row-Stone# - listed left to right, back to front - as that is the order burials are presently taking place in these three sections.

     The Littleton Area Historical Society has a set of the B&W photos of the Pattenville gravestones taken in 1955 during preparations for moving the cemetery - they are filed by original grave# - and copies are available for a reasonable fee.

     The color photos I have uploaded to findagrave may be reused without restriction as long as they are NOT CROPPED, and proper credit given - any other use, or use for profit, requires written permission from either myself or the LAHS; as does reuse of their B&W photos.

[Return to: Wheeler Hill Cemetery Inscriptions at findagrave.com]
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