by Wilson Ring
WATERBURY, Vt. (AP April 1, 2013) — An all-but-forgotten cemetery and its dozens of long-dead patients of the forerunner of the Vermont State Hospital are reaching from beyond their hillside graves to help modernize state law regulating what happens when someone dies and no one claims the remains.
The issue emerged from the shadows of history because of Tropical Storm Irene, which more than a year ago inundated the hospital complex, destroyed many old patient records and rendered the complex unusable. As plans were made for a new hospital, some feared the cemetery was in danger of being forgotten again.
“Somehow it felt incredibly important to give those people back the dignity of their identity,” said state Rep. Anne Donahue, a Republican from Northfield and longtime advocate for the mentally ill. “I wanted to find out who was here.” Read More