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Share a special wish with little Margaret at Green Mount Cemetery

Green Mount Cemetery is located in Montpelier, Vermont and was established in 1854. Calvin Keith, a Montpelier lawyer, donated $1000 to the town toward the purchase price of $2210 for the property.

Visitors often leave lucky pennies at the grave of Margaret Pitkin
Courtesy of Google Images and Find a Grave
The beautiful statue of Margaret Pitkin stand in Green Mount Cemetery
Courtesy of Google Images and Find a Grave

The grand entrance to Green Mount Cemetery is a beautiful structure. Visitors drive through a passageway of the chapel built in 1905. The Gothic designed building has seating for 60 to 100 people in the chapel for funeral services. There is room for 62 bodies in a receiving vault.

Make a left turn after entering the cemetery and follow the roadway—always veering to the right—and you will come across the spectacular memorial for little Margaret Pitkin. Caroline Margaret Pitkin was born on November 18, 1892 in Montpelier to her parents Carroll P. Pitkin and Mary A Devine. She was an only child and the apple of her father’s eye.

She was a very popular school girl and well-liked by young and old alike. Little Margaret was known by almost everyone in the city and was deeply admired. She was an unusually pretty and attractive child and was the idol of her playmates. She was always bright and cheery, and had dazzling bright eyes and rosy cheeks. Margaret was the central figure in many local entertainments and amateur productions, and her grace and beauty were always a topic of conversation afterwards.

Margaret’s love of life was cut short. She suffered the grip of spinal meningitis—an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord cause by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms. She had only been ill but for a few days. The death was very sudden. During the last day or two of the child’s illness she was sleepy and drowsy. Margaret died on December 4, 1899. She was 7 years and 16 days of age.

The funeral of Margaret Pitkin was held at two o clock Wednesday afternoon from the house of Mr. and Mrs. Pitkin on Main Street. The floral offerings were very beautiful and filled the house with their fragrance. The shops of the Lane Manufacturing Company (where her father was employed) were shut down and many of the employees attended. The pall bearers were chosen from boys of about her own age who hand been her playmates. Reverend Father W. J. O’ Sullivan, the officiating clergyman, spoke works of comfort and hope to the afflicted parents that found a response in the hearts of all who heard him. The burial was made in the Pitkin plot in Green Mount Cemetery.

As you can imagine, the parents were devastated. It is said that her father contracted a monument company to create a monument in her honor. He provided them with a photograph her and instructed them to carve an exact replica of the photo.

When the monument was finished, her father refused to pay for it based on the fact that the left boot was missing a button. The monument company was just about ready to void the bill and take a loss when they re-examined the photograph. They showed it to the father upon which he immediately paid for the monument as there was a button missing in the photograph.

The detail on this monument is very precise down to a ring on her right hand, strand of pearls on her neck, and the delicate eyelet on her dress. She wears a medal of some sort at the top of her dress. She leans on a granite rail with granite flowers at her feet. Visitors often place a necklace of pennies around her neck, or in the fold of the leaves and flowers with hope of a granted “wish or prayer”.

Caroline Margaret Pitkin is still adored and loved over 100 years later. Be sure to stop and say hello when you visit Green Mount Cemetery...and make a wish!

The statue of Margaret Pitkin inspired song writer, Dan Lindner to compose “Song for Margaret” in 1985 and recorded by Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys.

"Fresh fallen snow on the newly dug grave of the girl with the sunlight in her smile,
Gathered around, all the many who loved her, whose lives she brightened for a while,
All the laughter and love in her seven short years were much more than some folks ever see,
Fare thee well, Margaret, you rest here in peace, while we cherish your sweet memory.”

"A labor of love for the man from the old world who works all alone in the night,
Lost in his thoughts as the chips fall away and the child seems to come back to life.
Faithfully rendered by rough skillful hands, lovely features emerge from the stone.
His tears gently fall on the face that he forms, for the old man has memories of his own.”

"Silent she stands in her old fashioned dress, just a small figure frozen in time,
Patient and calm as the world struggles on, for she's left all her cares far behind.
And many who wander by her grave on the hill stop and leave her a penny or two,
And each copper coin bears a wish and a prayer for the happiness that she once knew."

"Time flies away like the brown leaves of autumn, like cold ashes thrown to the wind."
Sweet moments of joy are the glittering jewels that we hold 'til our memories grow dim."

Green Mount Cemetery
251 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning nazanaza@aol.com