Group restores Manchester's Stark Park, where 'Live Free or Die' coiner rests
It's a vision that has helped guide the work of the Friends of Stark Park, including months of restoration work at the grave sites of Gen. John Stark and members of his family.
"We used to joke about running a contest, asking who is buried in Stark Park and seeing how many people get it right," said Robert Chase, the Friends' treasurer. "He was really one of the primary heroes of the American Revolution."
She pointed out that no work was done to the Stark family graves.
Gen. Stark's final resting place is marked by a granite obelisk. He and his wife, Molly, had 11 children; a monument marks the graves of the other family members. A road in front of the fenced area will be replaced by a grass apron soon — possibly this week — where future ceremonies and other events can be held.
Chase said additional plans call for clearing underbrush behind and below the grave sites.
"This could be opened up, and eventually visitors would be able to see Mount Uncanoonuc, the same view visitors had decades ago," Chase said.
Gen. Stark died in 1822 and was buried in the family plot on North River Road. The 30-acre plot was dedicated as a public park in 1893.
Howard said if all goes as planned, the completed project could be the focus of a celebration next summer, possibly on the anniversary of the Battle of Bennington on Aug. 16.
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