North Underhill
Cemetery Association
 Located on Poker Hill Road
Underhill, Vermont 05489

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  Although the Town of Underhill had been chartered in 1763, the earliest settlement was not established until after the Revolutionary War in 1787.  The County 'Hill Rd' (now Poker Hill) had been surveyed and laid out in 1791 and the Town of Underhill formally organized in 1795.  The earliest families settled in what is now known as North Underhill, near the present Poker Hill, Bill Cook and Covey Roads.  (The first deed was issued to Caleb Sheldon and his daughter Mary was the first-born in the new settlement, in 1787).  An important early settler was Colonel Udney Hay, who had served in the Revolutionary Army.  (He represented the Town of Underhill in the new Vermont State Legislature from 1798-1804.)  In 1799 he deeded 1 1/4 acres from his farm on the 'Hill Rd' to be used for a 'Burying Ground for the Town of Underhill.'  (This is property now owned by Francis Russin.)  In 1803 the so-called North Burying Ground of the Town of Underhill was survey and established.  Colonel Hay died in 1806 and after a large Burlington funeral, he was laid to rest in the burying ground on the land he had given to the Town.  By 1800 more families had arrived from Connecticut, establishing a hamlet part way up the 'Hill Rd'.  In 1801 a group covenanted as the 'Church of Christ in Underhill'.  At the same time they organized 'The Congregational Society in Underhill'.  (The associated church societies handled the financial aspects of the church, such as building and maintaining the meetinghouse and hiring the pastor.)  In 1807 Bernard Ward, the great great great grandfather of Louella Lamphere, leased one acre of land on what is now called Poker Hill Road to 'The Underhill Congregational Society' to build a meeting house (for a yearly payment of one ear of Indian corn, a common obligation in those days.)  That same year he also leased one acre of land to the Town of Underhill for a burying ground, next to the Meeting House lot.  There is no mention of the 'North Burying Ground' after that time.  Colonel Hay's gravestone, dated 1806, is in the present 'North Underhill Cemetery' on Poker Hill Road, along with Mrs Patty Martin (1797) and C. Thrall (1801) whose dates of death also predate the establishment of the cemetery.  It seems that the gravestones, if not the burials, from the original burying ground were moved to the newer cemetery site at a later date and the 'North Burying Ground' was abandoned.  It was not until 1897 that the North Underhill Cemetery was actually deeded to the Town by the then property owner, Jason Rogers.  The stone steps of the Original Congregational Meetinghouse are said to be part of the present cemetery wall.  (In 1837 the meetinghouse steeple was toppled during a wind-storm, rendering the building unusable.  A new Congregational Meetinghouse was established in the Flatts.  Parts of the orginal building were salvaged for another church, called the North Church, farther up the hill, (which later burned.)  After many decades of neglect, a concerned group of citizens, spearheaded by Fillmore Robinson, undertook to maintain what was officially a Town cemetery.  In 1911 they created the 'North Underhill Cemetery Association', a volunteer civic organization which continues today to care for the historic North Underhill Cemetery on Poker Hill Road.      The above account was researched by Betty Moore, Town Historian, June 12, 2003.

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May 14, 2011
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