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WEEKLY HIGHLIGHT

Old Westfield Cemetery, Windham County, Killingly, Connecticut

[photo] Cedar GroveThe Old Westfield Cemetery, located in Danielson, a borough in the town of Killingly, Connecticut that developed around the confluence of the Quinebaug and Five Mile rivers, is a 10-acre site that originated in the colonial burying ground that was established here in 1728. Even though the more elaborate stones and monuments clearly represent the levels of wealth or status, the Old Westfield Cemetery never became the Victorian “city of the dead,” in which the social hierarchy of the community was replicated in the location of the graves. The work of local master carvers, artisans whose designs influenced most of the funerary art in these regions, can be seen in the Old Westfield Cemetery in the work of master regional stone carver Benjamin Collins (d.1759), whose regional influence continued with the work of his son. Zerubbabel Collins (1733-1797). As the more conventional symbols of mourning became popular after about 1800; symbolic or actual portraits of the deceased gradually disappeared and stone carving as an art form was further degraded as the limited range of sentimental, neo-classical imagery came to dominate funerary art. The graves in the cemetery, the majority being from the 19th century, are marked by single headstones, monuments, or obelisks fashioned from local granite and imported materials, such as slate, marble, and limestone.

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[photo] Cedar Grove

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