VT Edition Interview: Tom Giffon on a Hartland cemetery relocation controversy

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Nearly a month and a half ago, the president of the Vermont Old Cemetery Association, Tom Giffon, got a phone call.  Giffon says he answers a lot of calls from people who want to restore and save the state’s old cemeteries-but this one was different. 

J. Michel Guite of Springfield, called Giffon to ask about building a house on farmland in Hartland where a small cemetery, the size of a living room, now sits.  Guite is interested in buying the land currently owned by a group of Buddhist monks.  But his plan to move the cemetery has drawn criticism from area veterans and others, including Tom Giffon, who believes such a move is disrespectful. 

A probate court in Woodstock ruled a week ago that two descendents of people buried in the cemetery have the right to file objections.  But Guite has now appealed to the Windsor Superior court.  A public hearing is also scheduled for next month.

Tom Giffon spoke with VPR’s Jane Lindholm about the controversy.

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