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Connecticut Paranormal History and Legends

Lamson Corner Cemetery

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Lamson Corner Cemetery Burlington Connecticut

If were not from Connecticut, and you were to ask “What does an old Rural Connecticut town look like?” Burlington Connecticut would be a great place to use for an example. Although not a very old town (INC 1806) its appearance has not changed very much since it was first settled.

 

Burlington’s history starts all the way back to 1640. When the first settlers of Farmington first purchased its land from the Tunxis Indians. The current town of Farmington was first purchased as a huge land mass that later broke up into several towns, Burlington being one of them. At first purchase both towns of now Bristol, and Burlington were simply known as “The West Woods of Farmington.” They did not get settled right away at original purchase because its thick forest and steep hills made it difficult. Plus, unlike towns such as Southington, and Berlin, the town was remote and did not lead to any other major towns.  It wasn’t until the early 1720’s that this land was finally tallied up, and its first settlers started to arrive. The first settler of the Farmington West Woods was Ebenezer Barnes who built his first house in 1728 right at the intersection of what is now King and Broad streets in Bristol. In the next 20 years many other settlers came to make their homes in the West Woods, and in 1744 the area of now the town of Bristol became known as the New Cambridge parish, and then in the year 1774 Burlington was known as the West Britain parish.  In 1806 Burlington got its name when it was incorporated as its own indepent town. Looking at Burlington Today, I can still understand why it was known as The Farmington West Woods, because unlike Bristol much of it has been untouched since it was first settled. Why is this? Well Bristol became a very popular industrial town in the 19th century with its clock making, and Burlington became merely a residential town with more hunting and gaming. The after effect of this can still be seen today.  

 

Burlington just like any other Connecticut town has its supernatural ghost stories. One of which is known as Lamson Corner. This is a story that I’ve personally been studying for the last 15 years. I’d first heard of it back in the early 90’s when someone who told me it was even more haunted then the near-by cemetery of the Green lady, and that you could see ghosts walking down the street in this area. Its story became even more popular with the invention of the internet, specifically the Shadow lands haunted place index. It was the lack of information that the Shadow lands had that drove me to seek out and study more. I found as much as I could, and will give you my take on the place.

 

Now what is Lamson Corner? It’s a small area located at the intersections of Milford St. & Scoville  Rd. If you go to this area today, the only thing you will find is a cemetery, but it used to be more than just that, it’s this area that’s said to be haunted with ghosts of the past. Again, I’ve been hearing the ghost stories for many years. The most popular is the one of a woman who is seen wearing a Victorian style wedding dress walking along the street at night. Another is one of a Soldier who’s history goes back to an old poem by Milo Leon Norton in 1897 of a man who walks the street with his old dog,  however he is said to be haunting an area more south than Lampson Corner, near South Main Street. But the most misunderstood and most unknown about is the story of a small pox outbreak somewhere near or in Lamson Corner, this is given as the main reason why the area is haunted, because most of the people who died of smallpox were buried in the Lamson Corner cemetery. Well hear I will try to tell you the actual facts that I’ve learned threw the studying of Burlington history so that everyone can try to piece the story together.

 

This area of Milford Street, known as Lamson Corner started with the early Methodists of Burlington. In 1803 two Methodists in Burlington Colonel Abraham Pettibone and Deacon Simeon Hart decided to hold a lottery approved by the state legislator to help create funds to build a Methodist church/meeting house in Burlington. Building of the church was said to have started in 1808 by carpenters Samuel Murray and Elias Perkins of Bristol. It was finally finished and began its first use in 1814. Now the location of the church is said to be in what is now the actually cemetery of Lamson Corner. (Yes the church and the cemetery both shared the same area). It is also said that there was once a school house located somewhere in this area perhaps close-by, perhaps the church was used as a school. I believe the school was there because the Bristol Press ran an article on June 14, 1906 where they interview a man named Thomas Brooks a Burlington Teacher who was said to have taught there. The church and the cemetery stood side-by side until 1836 when the number of parishioners diminished and the church was moved to the center of Burlington where it still stands today. The remaining area where the church stood was sold as plots for the expanding LC cemetery. The cemetery continued its use from what I can see as its last burial in 1986, although I could be wrong on that one, I believe that was the last.

In my studies of Central Connecticut History, here is what I’ve come to conclusion about a small pox outbreak in this area. Small pox outbreaks did happen in the Farmington area in earlier times. However, I don’t think the areas surrounding Lamson Corner had anymore than average. Could people be buried there that died of smallpox, sure without a doubt. But I don’t think there is anymore than average compared to other cemeteries of this time. I’m sure there are people buried here that died of yellow fever and influenza as well. Smallpox was at it’s worst in Connecticut in the 1600’s (It’s worst being 1689-90) and I’ve read the stories of small pox outbreaks that took place in Farmington and the story of Hospital Rock on rattlesnake mountain. The bottom line of that story is that Eli Todd and Theodore Wadsworth brought people to Rattlesnake Mountain to work on an immunization to small pox and to treat it by quarantine. It’s is because of people like these two Farmington Doctors that help put an end to small pox. Now being that most of the smallpox outbreaks occurred in the 1600 and early 1700’s, one can conclude that the areas near Lampson Corner which started it’s  settlements  in the early 1800’s didn’t suffer any extreme outbreak nor was a village “Wiped Out” by smallpox.  I do have a theory of why this story came to be though.

 

There was one reported death of small pox in 1743 where a man was buried in the nearby area of Pine Hill. Then like I mentioned before, a poem written by a man named Milo Leon Norton wrote of a lonely soldier who would walk the streets of Burlington barefoot who was abandoned by everyone but his dog, eventually dying of smallpox, and now the ghost of his dog is said to haunt the area of Milford St. & South main St. The poem speaks of just the ghost of the dog, but I’ve had people tell me they’ve seen both the soldier and the dog walking together (Don’t really believe that one as much) but it kind of goes into the idea on where the smallpox story started. Stories get twisted around and this maybe how the story got started. So bottom line is this, I cannot or nor can anyone I’ve talked to, produce any real evidence that there was a big smallpox  outbreak that “WIPED OUT” a whole area of nearby Lampson Corner.  Is there a basis for ghosts though? Perhaps...

 

Lot’s of people in the paranormal field feel as if Lampson Corner is haunted. Well I’ve done my own investigation and research and come to believe from my own experience that this is very possible, but it’s got nothing to do with small pox. Anyone in the paranormal field will tell you that schools, churches, and cemeteries are areas that have a high likelihood to harbor ghosts. Lamson at one point had all three. The woman who is said to walk around the street in a Victorian wedding dress could have been in the process of getting married at this Methodist church that would fit.

 Also Lampson is close to an area known as Devils Kitchen, which is a gouge that is 35 feet deep and a mile long.  To get there you take the dirt road near Lampson toward Whigville, than left where the blue trail crosses. Wonder how many people fell to there deaths at this place? They don’t give something like this a name like” Devil’s Kitchen” unless they have a reason for it.

Here is one other interesting fact about Lampson that most people don’t know. Over the years, I’ve had many people tell me on how when doing a supernatural investigation it almost seemed as if they had bad feelings coming from the area  around the cemetery, more so than on the inside. Well  come to find out, according to an obituary listed in The Bristol Press on March 7, 1965 32 year old Morgan Nelbert of Rockledge Dr. was found dead by a friend in the woods near Lampson Corner Cemetery. His death was termed by doctors suicide by hanging. Apparently he was missing since Feb 24. Could there be a connection? He was buried in West Cemetery Burlington.

Also going threw the obituaries of some of the people buried here; there was another man who died of suicide. On August 11, 1890, 82 year old William Stone killed himself by cutting his wrists. He was said to have suffered from rheumatism for a number of years, using two canes to get around.

 

Here is another obituary taken from the Bristol Press on 4-20-1905 about another person buried here at Lampson:

 

Chehalis, Wash. March 25. Begging piteously for his fellow workers to kill him and end his

sufferings, William Lowrey yesterday afternoon died after enduring two hours and a half of the

Most awful agony. The frightful accident occurred at the logging camp of Ed. Eastman on Deep

Creek. Lowrey was in charge of a donkey engine which was being moved across the creek. A stringer of the bridge gave way, overturning the machine and Lowrey was caught underneath in

Such a way that it was utterly impossible for his companions to extricate him. With his back

Squarely against the boiler Lowrey was slowly cooked to death. He made a hard fight to

Drowned himself in the waters of the creek. When the accident first occurred, his head was

under water for twenty minutes, but his companions succeeded in raising it above the water

surface and held it there despite his efforts to free himself and drown. Every possible effort was

made by the fifteen fellow workers to rescue Lowrey, but nothing they could do would budge the

engine. Lowrey was conscious to the last and gave the men his dying requests. He was one of

The best known and most popular engineers in the state. For a number of years he resided in

Centralia and was engineer on the Northern Pacific on the main line between Tacoma and

Ellensburg. He was 43 years of age. (Bristol Press, 4-20-1905) Burial in Lamson Corner

Cemetery, Burlington, CT

One event that should be mentioned that really upset me in more recent times is in July of 2002, Vandals knocked down 79 grave stones here at Lamson Corner cemetery. Most probably teenage kids with no respect for anything with nothing better to do. Attempts have been made to fix these stone since the vandalism took place, however not everything could be restored.

Reference to the full story can be read here : http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/courant/access/140078221.html?dids=140078221:140078221&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jul+16%2C+2002&author=DON+STACOM%3BCourant+Staff+Writer&pub=Hartford+Courant&edition=&startpage=B.2&desc=TALLYING+COST+OF+VANDALISM+%3B+VANDALS+KNOCK+DOWN+79+GRAVESTONES%3B+REPAIR%2C+RESTORATION+STUDIES+IN+PROGRESS

 

Our Investigation

 

Field Investigation of Lampson Corner Took place on September 21, 2008 around 1:00AM. Weather Conditions for the night were clear with an overnight temperature of around 45-50F. Like Always we took Pictures and Audio Recordings of the Area. Evidence to the Vadisem could be seen in various areas of the cemetery, particularly in the center of the cemetery. I would describe this place as very dark and cold, simply due to the fact of lack of streetlights on Milford Street. A slight uneasiness could be felt, however no subsequent physical activity had taken place. Any evidence of a church building could not be found, but my guess would be that all this was removed long ago. A dirt path still exists on the right hand side of the cemetery’s front entrance. This must be the same path that leads to the Tunxis Trail’s Blue path, and to Devil’s Kitchen. Overall impression is that this is a typical Connecticut 19th century cemetery, with nothing out of the ordinary to be seen, other than higher number of children than average buried here, but not an unheard of amount.

 

After review of the audio evidence taken here, I could find one sound abnormality. I’m not going to jump to the conclusion that this is an EVP. However I cannot explain it away by other means. In the following sound clip, I was taking a recording of the cemetery’s center. I was in the process of explaining to another person on the investigation that “This is where they vandalized” and shortly after I say this it’s almost as if you can hear someone’s, as I would call it, “Heavy Breathing.” One thing I should note is that I or anyone else during this time made this noise. No one breathed or sneezed or made any sound of this type at the time. Also no cars were going by, and no other audible sound could be heard. This simply turned up on the recording after the fact. It almost sounds if someone might be trying to say something, but I cannot make out what is said. My Impression of this audio clip this that someone, or something got upset when Vandalism was mentioned. Who could blame them?

 

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Unknown Breath clip

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Picture of Pine Hill in Burlington
 

1. Update : In further research of this article, come to find out, Milo Leon Norton writer of the poem Founded on Legends of Whigville was also a local town historian back in the late 1890’s. An article about the history of Bristol can be read at Ray’s Place here: http://history.rays-place.com/ct/bristol1.htm  and his poem can be read here: http://www.munic.state.ct.us/BURLINGTON/founded_on_legends_poem.htm

Other References

2. Burlington’s Articles of the Past / Submitted by Leonard Alderman / 1991 Burlington Town Website / http://www.munic.state.ct.us/BURLINGTON/history.htm

 

3. Bristol Connecticut A Bicentennial History / Written By: Bruce Clouette & Matthew Roth / Copyright 1984 / Phoenix Publishing

4. Articles taken from Bristol Press / Issue Aug 11 1890 / Issue April 20, 1905 / Issue June 14 1906 / Issue March 1965

5. Articles taken From Hartford Courant / Issue Jul 16 2002

6. Hog River Journal / Issue Feb-Apr 2004 / Written by Charles Leach, M.D. / http://www.hogriver.org/issues/v02n02/hospital.htm