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Town Clerk reveals missing cemetery information

By Christine Simmonds | Nov 24, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Thomaston Village Cemetery Board of Trustees meets Nov. 23 over Zoom.

Thomaston — Following a discussion on updating forms and permits for burial in the Village Cemetery, Thomaston Town Clerk Melissa Stevens revealed that information at the Town Office regarding the cemetery was either missing or incorrect.

This discussion led the Village Cemetery Board of Trustees to authorize Stevens to search for a software program to assist with the cemetery records at their Nov. 23 meeting.

Stevens was hired as Town Clerk in June. She said these issues with cemetery paperwork go back many years and have been an ongoing issue for the town.

Stevens said that often, when a burial occurs, she is forced to rely on Peter Lammert, who is the Sexton for Village Cemetery, for information on who is interred and where. “Thank God for Pete’s knowledge of that cemetery,” she said.

Stevens said that often the cemetery cards containing the information on who owns which plot were not updated when a lot owner died or someone was buried.

Stevens plans to work on identifying and correcting issues with the cemetery plots during the winter, as well as implementing a process for updating the system. She clarified that it is unclear exactly what needs to be corrected, and many issues will only be revealed as the process moves forward.

“This is not an easy job, but it’s one that has to be done,” Steven said. She added that communication between her and Lammert would be vital to this process.

Lammert said that due to the lack of a system, there have been situations where lots have been sold twice. He said when this happens he is forced to find another burial site. “So far everybody has been satisfied with where the person was buried,” he added.

Thomaston residents Greg and Shirley Hamlin, working with the Thomaston Historical Society, have also spent large amounts of time digitizing the cemetery records. Stevens hoped to find software able to integrate what they have done, as she knows the Hamlins put in a lot of work.

In other business, the board authorized the changing of the fee schedule to allow non-residents of Thomaston to purchase plots in Village Cemetery. In the past, only residents and former residents were allowed to purchase space.

A single lot for a Thomaston resident costs $150, not including work or upkeep. A single lot for non-residents is $300.

Stevens said she will be updating other Village Cemetery forms and permits as well.

The board approved a maintenance contract with Claybrook Landscaping Inc. for mowing and upkeep of the cemetery.

The contract is $40,000 per year, and will be a five year contract contingent on voter approval for years two through five.

The board also authorized Lammert to place two four by four signs, which have already been created, in the cemetery. The signs identify Village Cemetery, and will be place on Dwight Street and on Avenue Three.

Lammert said he also has a sign for Elm Grove Cemetery.

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Alexander Hernandez | Nov 25, 2020 17:24

Janet: You can reach out to the Thomaston Historical Society or to Pete Lammert and they should be able to assist with any genealogy within Thomaston and its cemetery.

Posted by: Jan Dearborn | Nov 25, 2020 13:48

How does a person doing genealogy research locate a grave in the Thomaston Village Cemetery?


Posted by: Valerie Wass | Nov 25, 2020 09:09

Sorry.  I posted under the wrong article.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Nov 25, 2020 06:42

Just goes to show lol of us that big corporations keep getting away with everything.

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