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December 13, 2011
ALTON — About a year ago, Bonnie Burgess and Stewart Keefe tried to get the word out on an unmarked cemetery that is located off of Orchard Lane in Alton, in the Lakeside development.

They didn't get much of a response from the public, so they did some more digging.

After a lot of research and some help from historians in town, the pair has narrowed the names down.

There are at least six bodies buried in the small cemetery, but there could be as many as 10.

The property was originally owned by a king and a 50-acre parcel was given to Moses Dow.

Dow left the property and Stephen Fall took over and was one of the first settlers in the area.

He helped build the road from Alton Bay to Wolfeboro.

He served in the War of 1812 and had nine children with his wife Rachael.

Some of their names included John and Tristam.

Fall died in 1852, and his wife a year later, and he was buried in Tuftonboro.

The cemetery is not included in the official town records as a cemetery, and Burgess and Keefe are trying to get the names of those buried there so that it can be added to the list.

"Our hope is to start cleaning up the cemetery with a reasonable amount of maintenance," Burgess said.

If no family connections can be found, the maintenance will fall to residents within the Lakeside development.

Burgess and Keefe have put in hours over the last year and have exhausted what they can do.

"We are pretty much at the end of it," Burgess added.

Keefe had fun working together with Burgess on the project and finding out facts about the town.

"We learned a lot about the history of the town," Keefe said.

The stones in the grave are un-marked, probably because it was common practice at the time and cost was too high to mark gravestones.

In 1816, the farm burned down and was sold to the Piper family.

The cemetery is surrounded by a stone wall and is located in a heavily wooded area.

During their research, the pair stumbled upon records that documented who was living in each residence. It included how many free whites under 16, how many free whites over 16 and how many slaves were included in each residence.

According to the records, the Fall family didn't own any slaves.

Anyone that has any information about the cemetery that could lead to who is buried there can contact Burgess at 569-4849.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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