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Hope Cemetery - Barre, Vermont


More granite tombstones are produced in the small town of Barre, Vermont, than almost anywhere else in the world. Why, you might ask? Because Barre (pronounced "berry") is home to world-famous Barre Gray granite, mined from local quarries in huge, flawless blocks and shipped around the world. All of that beautiful granite attracted expert cutters and carvers from all over Europe around the turn of the 20th century, and a booming business was begun that continues to this day.

The 85-acre Hope Cemetery in Barre, opened in 1895, stands as a memorial to the masterwork of the Barre granite carvers. Aside from the usual angels and crosses, grave markers include an full-size armchair, an oversize soccer ball, a biplane, a race car, and a huge cube balanced on one corner. The variety of symbols and sculptures is astounding, although there is one part of Hope Cemetery that is eerily uniform - every one of the 10,000 plus graves is made of the same Barre Gray granite.

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