Who spends a beautiful weekend day visiting a horse cemetery? Apparently I do. The Wallace Horse Cemetery is one of those quirky small town things that I knew about, but had never bothered to stop and look at. I had seen it mentioned in a book about bizarre New England attractions. I see the sign all the time. Yet, it was just one of those things that you don’t really make the time to check out. Until we were going for a drive after getting some ice cream at Bishop’s and Ryan started asking questions about the horse cemetery. Then it seemed like the perfect time to stop and check it out.
The Wallace Horse Cemetery is a quiet spot just across the street from the Mount Eustis Ski Hill. It is tucked away in the trees with a trail continuing past it. There is a penned in area that contains the graves for the three horses buried there. That’s right, it isn’t just that our little mountain town has a cemetery for horses – it is a cemetery dedicated to only three horses that lived in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. These three horses get their very own cemetery that has been maintained for 100 years – which is actually pretty cool. There are three grave stones and a placard explaining the history.
According to the placard, two the horses (Maud and Molly) were like children to Eli and Myra Wallace. The third horse was given to Eli Wallace after his wife’s death and he cared for her until his own death. All three horses were buried at this horse cemetery, along with all of their trappings. Wallace donated land and money for the construction of the Littleton Regional Hospital in his will, but in exchange he required that the horse cemetery be forever preserved and cared for.
It was fascinating to see the little mementos left at these graves – coins and a small stone with the word LOVE painted on it – reminders that even 100 years later these horses are visited and remembered.
As we were leaving, Cal pointed out that there was a small “couch” hanging from one of the trees. I am not sure what it really is or what it’s purpose might be, but for now I will chalk it up as another one of those quirky small town things.