Comstock Cemetery gets cleaned up
Members of the Drum Hill chapter of the DAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution) and the Captain David Hawley C.A.R. (Children of the American Revolution) gathered to help clean up Comstock Cemetery on Veterans Day. Comstock Cemetery is the third-oldest cemetery in Wilton and the burial ground of seven Revolutionary War veterans and approximately 200 others. The cemetery was in active use from 1781 to 1850.
The Drum Hill chapter has been working on restoring the half-acre cemetery on Ridgefield Road in Wilton for several years. Members cleaned up the cemetery this past spring and hundreds of daffodils, planted by chapter members, bloomed. However, many old gravestones desperately need repair.
According to Sara Champion, chapter regent, the Drum Hill chapter received a 2017 Special Projects Grant from the national society, one of only two historic preservation grants it made in Connecticut that year. The matching grant was for the express purpose of repairing the gravestones of the seven Revolutionary War veterans and their wives: David Dunning III, Thaddeus Keeler, Matthew Mead, James Morgan, Samuel Olmstead, John Rockwell III and David Whitlock.
Assisting the chapter with repairs that have been completed were Will and Lisa Cornell of Beyond the Gravestone. Drum Hill’s Historic Preservation Chair, Laura Stabell, said the chapter plans to continue fund-raising efforts so gravestones of other family members of these patriots, as well as other individuals buried at the cemetery, can be restored.
Comstock Cemetery was originally the Comstock family cemetery, established in 1782 on Ridgefield Road at Signal Hill North, according to Bob Russell’s book, Wilton, Connecticut.
The Drum Hill chapter has more than 100 members, principally from Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding and Weston. Membership in the DAR is open to any woman over age 18 who is directly descended from a patriot who aided the American cause during the Revolution. Captain David Hawley Society C.A.R. is open to any person under the age of 22 who is interested in learning leadership skills and participating in volunteer activities.