The grave of Samuel Whittemore, the biggest badass of the revolution

Here in New England, we are the birthplace of nearly all of the revolutionary war’s most influential and infamous figures. People like Israel Putnam, for example, who I will discuss some details about in a future article, specifically the wolf cave. So it was on a cold, blustery Sunday morning that we made the journey up to Arlington, which is a town just outside of Boston proper, to visit the grave of Samuel Whittemore. If you’re looking for the spot, directions can be excessively confusing. It’s actually located Here .

If you enter from that main entrance, you can walk toward the wall of tombs and to the right, you should eventually find it. The cemetery is full of typical 17th and early 18th century stones, but that’s not what we are here to see. We are here to pay our respects to this guy :

Samuel Whittemore gets bayoneted.

Samuel Whittemore gets bayoneted.

Who was involved in this at the age of 78, when most people were dying much younger.. (courtesy Wikipedia) :

Whittemore was in his fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade under Earl Percy, sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore loaded his musket and ambushed the British Grenadiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols, killed a second grenadier and mortally wounded a third. By the time Whittemore had fired his third shot, a British detachment had reached his position; Whittemore drew his sword and attacked.He was subsequently shot in the face, bayoneted numerous times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found by colonial forces trying to load his musket to resume the fight. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore recovered and lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 96.

So yeah, I had to pay my respects in person. As always, right click to open the full size picture. Credit is due to where I originally learned about this story.


The grave itself


This is a list of all the revolutionary war veterans buried in the cemetery


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The oldest legible grave marker in Connecticut

I’ve spent a lot of time in cemeteries. I find we are never closer to the past anywhere else. After all, with few exceptions – cemeteries never change. With this in mind I paid a visit to the Palisado Cemetery in Windsor, Connecticut to view what I was informed was the oldest legible stone here in my state. The grave belongs to the Reverend Ephraim Huit, laid to rest in 1644. Another site goes into far more depth on the topic Here. What makes this stone so special to me is the inscription..

Who when hee lived wee drew our vitall breath,
Who when hee dyed his dying was our death,
Who was ye stay of State, Ye Churches Staff,
Alas the times forbid an Epitaph

Yeah, “The times forbid an Epitaph.” Those were tough times. The oddest part to me is that the stone in question is one side of an upright marker with what appears to be a 19th century slab on the other side. Noone seems to know why. Sadly the picture of the newer side didn’t come out and oddly isn’t in particularly good shape, regardless. I should stop taking terrible pictures with my smartphone.


Reverse of the marker


The marker. Right click and open it for the huge version.

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Abandoned Connecticut DOT buildings in West Hartford, Connecticut


Graffiti at Shade Swamp Sanctuary


Old cage at Shade Swamp Sanctuary

Initially the lady and I had decided to check out the old “Shade Swamp Sanctuary” as it’s known, located in Farmington, CT. This was a roadside zoo, long abandoned, with many of the cages and such still remaining. For a better writeup, you can visit  However, we initially drove to the wrong place to access the trailhead and found something much more interesting. Walking into the woods down a well used jogging trail, one sees a series of relatively new buildings peeking out of the trees. The effect is striking. What you’re looking at is a hurriedly abandoned DOT office complex. A sad waste of buildings which are still in excellent condition, save the vandalism. Pictures below the cut.

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