Historical Society presents Third Thursday program April 18

On Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m., the Bristol Historical Society (BHS) will feature the Cemetery Commission as part of its Third Thursday lecture program. The Historical Society is located at 98 Summer St. on Federal Hill. The presentation, “Candace Roberts Resurrected (her tombstone that is!)” will be a one-hour program featuring four segments – an overview of historic cemeteries in Bristol; a glimpse into the life of Candace Roberts in the early 1800s through details in her diary that was discovered a decade ago and reprinted by the Historical Society; a display of the methods and tools of the trade used to restore the various tombstones this year, and how the Cemetery Commission identifies the stones and solicits money for the work through programs, donations, and grants. To date, no taxpayer funds have been spent on the restoration efforts.

The BHS Third Thursday lecture series is free for members and $5 for non-members. Refreshments are served following the presentation.

This BHS Third Thursday program precedes the Cemetery Commission’s annual spring Walking Tour, which will take place on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 1:30pm at DownsCemetery. This walking tour is free and open to the public and will highlight the various improvements made to the Cemetery, some of the interesting Bristol citizens who have been laid to rest there, as well as showcase the newly restored tombstones. The rain date for this program is Sunday, April 28, 2013.

The DownsCemetery is located on the eastern end of Memorial Boulevard, between Riverside Avenue and Mountain Road. The Cemetery Commission has been working on monument restoration issues at the DownsCemetery since its inception in 2008. The preservation work on the Candace Roberts stone as well as four other tombstones, was made possible with a grant from the Clinton S. Roberts Foundation,  a grant from the Main Street Community Foundation as well as private donations.


On Sunday afternoon, April 14, historic conservator Christoph Hennig of the Berlin, Conn. firm Schall & Staub will re-install the Candace Roberts tombstone at DownsCemetery. This installation follows four months of treatment of the stone in Hennig’s workshop to treat the cracks. The process is expected to take up to two hours. The public is welcome to attend.