The desire to commemorate a life in passing is a deeply held impulse. To create something new is a natural response to the experience of loss. The “Stone Arch Arbor” commission combines a family’s wish to remember a loved one and make a gift to his community.
As part of a recent expansion to Wilder Cemetery in Dummerston, Vermont, additional stone fencing is required. Nineteen years ago I layed up the wall that borders Rice Farm Road on the north side of the cemetery. Now, the west and south sides are in need. My client commissioned a length of wall with special features. Two boulders serve as seats. Wall ends serve as seat-backs and imposts for a 7’ clear span dry stone arch. Eighteen, shaped blocks make up the voussoir and keystone.
A slate carving by Kerry Furlani decorates the arbor interior. The snippet of poetry is from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”
The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.