SHAFTSBURY, Vt. (NEWS10) — A road inside a new housing development has been named after a little girl whose headstone was found onsite.
Julia Burlingame was born in 1852 and died a year later. Her headstone was found at a nearby construction site, but it turns out, she was buried at Grandview Cemetery in Shaftsbury.
A construction crew working on the Lake Paran Village project made a shocking discovery.
“They found a headstone and thought it could be anything,” said Madison Kremer, with Shires Housing.
She says work came to a halt, and the stone was pieced together. It belonged to Julia, daughter of Andrew and Nancy Burlingame—age 1 year, 5 days. State archeologists believe the stone may have been a reject that was repurposed as part of a barn’s foundation, not her gravesite. It was once a common practice.
“And we have a feeling that Mr. Burlingame and Julia are buried somewhere in this section,” said Cemetery Superintendent Ken Coonradt.
He has information that Julia is buried in the cemetery in a grave with a male relative, but records are limited and the headstones are hard to read.
“There it is right here. I’ll be darned. I will be darned! Fantastic,” exclaimed Coonradt.
Again, we find Julia’s short lifespan memorialized—1852 to 1853.
“They died of a lot of things: cholera, measles, chicken pox,” said Coonradt.
But this time, Julia shares the headstone with Frank, who died the year she was born at age 35. They’re referred to as “children of Andrew and Nancy Burlingame” on the stone.
“So Frank is a child?” Coonradt asked aloud.
A decades-long age gap between apparent siblings Julia and Frank is confounding. Both stones list Andrew, not Frank, as Julia’s father. There are a lot of questions.
“Where’s the rest of the family? Where are they from?” said Coonradt.
We may never know the answers, but Julia won’t be forgotten with one of the new development’s roads named Julia Drive.
“Knowing that there’s a girl that had some connections to this place is you know, sentimental,” said Kremer.