Prior to the establishment of Hillside Cemetery, the town cemetery was located at the site of the present Town Hall. In order to permit the construction of that building in 1883, the remains of the dead were disinterred and moved to a section of Hillside Cemetery now known as the Ancient Cemetery. Unfortunately, this area has been neglected for many years and now has been taken over by a stand of pine and oak.
The present cemetery was founded when the area belonged to Plymouth. The fist land was acquired in 1855 from Seth Thomas. This section is known as the Old Cemetery and is located on the right as one enters the cemetery. It is approximately four acres in size. The Town's founder, Seth Thomas, is buried in this section.
The next land was acquired from Aaron Thomas, son of the first Seth Thomas, in 1870 and is known as the Summit Section. It is located on the left as one enters the cemetery and is approximately six acres in size.
In 1902 Minnie Thomas Griswold, the granddaughter of Seth Thomas, donated 28 acres of land which is now known as the New Cemetery and is located up the hill from the old section.
Allan Innes gave one acre of land in 1973 to the cemetery and this is known as Section H.
In 1979 Allan and James Innes gave approximately two and a half acres of land which is now known as the Innes Section. At that time the land was wooded area which was landscaped and prepared for cemetery use by the donors.
It should be noted that all the land for Hillside Cemetery has been provided by residents of Plymouth or Thomaston.
Prior to 1920, it is no known who the sextons were. In the twenties Mr. Foster held this position. He was followed by Sherwood Beardslee, Revilo Fuller, Beatrice Fuller, Charles Duncan and James S. Wilson who is the present sexton.
The cemetery is supervised by a committee appointed by the Board of Selectmen. For many years this committee consisted of three members but has recently been increased to four.
It is in order that we mention our newest benefactors, Guy Sherwood Fifield, his wife Steffie and Lucille Gotsell Killiany. Their generosity in recent years had enabled us to upgrade approximately 46 acres of the cemetery with new equipment and improvements to the landscape. These improvements include the planting of ornamental shrubs and trees. At this writing there have been approximately 4,000 burials with room for approximately 1,200 more.
It is of interest to note that the New York Times newspaper Sunday edition of February 9, 1992 carried a feature story on Hillside Cemetery.
Jamie W. Wilson, Caretaker
Hillside Cemetery Association
If you have any questions or need further information about the cemetary, please contact Mr. Wilson at (860) 283-8838 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.