Updated: Feb 22
The Town of Waterbury cemetery commission consists of five elected residents of the Town of Waterbury. The current members are Jack Carter, Jill Chase, Jan Gendreau, Barbara Walton and John Woodruff. The board operates under the parameters of the Vermont State Statute.
Title 18: Health Chapter 21 Cemeteries
002: Town Cemeteries [cite as: 18V.S.A.5373]
When a town votes to place its public burial grounds under the charge of cemetery commissioners it shall elect separately a board of three or five cemetery commissioners, who shall have the care and management of such burial grounds and exercise all the powers, rights, and duties with respect to such care and management and all responsibility of the part of the select board shall cease.
From the early 1900s until the early 2000s the duties of the commissioners were pretty minor. Waterbury had two independent incorporated cemetery associations. In 1907 the Waterbury Cemetery Assc. was incorporated; its mission was the care and management of Hope cemetery. A few years later the Waterbury Center Assc. was incorporated, with its mission being the care and management of Maple Street Cemetery and the Old Center Cemetery. The early 2000s brought the dissolution of these two cemetery associations, and with that the care and management of these three cemeteries, as well as the management of the perpetual care funds, became the responsibility of the Cemetery Commission. The current cemetery commissioners manage every aspect of all-things cemetery in the town.
Waterbury has two active cemeteries: Hope Cemetery in the Village of Waterbury and Maple Street Cemetery in Waterbury Center. Active here is used to mean that these cemeteries sell lots for future interments, and they facilitate current interments. The Cemetery Commission also operates a winter entombment vault located at Hope Cemetery. These two cemeteries, as well as the Old Center Cemetery on Route 100, are maintained on a weekly basis during the summer.
The cemetery commission is responsible for several private cemeteries that have been abandoned or turned over to the town’s care: Loomis Hill Cemetery at the top of Loomis Hill near the intersection of Sweet Road and Ripley Road; Demeritt Cemetery, located on Blush Hill just past the turn to Michigan Ave; Johnson Cemetery located past the Ice Center between the railroad tracks and Interstate 89; Ricker Mountain inside Little River State park; and the Vermont State Hospital Cemetery, south of Waterbury just off the bike trails.
The Cemetery Commission has worked in the past few years on the long process of cleaning and restoring these cemeteries: removing trees and brush, replacing fences, and more. Both Maple Street and Hope Cemeteries have seen significant tree planting, volunteers have worked extensively to rehabilitate Loomis Hill Cemetery, and this past year—in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Forest and Parks—we completed restoration on the Ricker Mountain cemeteries.
The commissioners will work to protect and preserve the rich historical assets we have and continue to service the needs of the citizens of Waterbury.