STORIES IN STONE
The Peck cemetery
This early family cemetery is located on a private wooded lot near the southeast corner of Neck Road (Rte 156) and Saunders Hollow Road. Approximately thirty graves are located in the cemetery, which includes ten monuments, most with foot stones, and about twenty field stones. The gravestones commemorates deaths between 1759 and 1817, but the Peck Cemetery was never administered by the Old Lyme Cemetery Association. The Charles R. Hale report listed its monuments in the 1930s.
Seven of the gravestones display the distinctive style of the prolific Eastern Connecticut stone carver Gershom Bartlett (1723 – 1798). Bartlett is known to have produced about 675 monuments in Connecticut prior to moving to Vermont, where he continued his trade.
Bartlett’s monuments have features such as bulbous noses, turned down mouths, a row of vestigial teeth, raised eyebrows, and a four lobed crown. His gravestones in the Peck Cemetery are identical, except for the person’s name and dates of birth and death, with minor variations in the size of the stone slabs.
The cemetery is the final resting place of members of the family of Elijah Peck (1713-1771) and his wife Hepzibah Pearson Peck (1719–1770). Also interred there are a daughter, four sons, a grandson, and a niece.
The Peck Cemetery gravestones reveal that the deaths of Elijah and three of his young sons took place within a six- week period. There were no known plagues or epidemics in Lyme at the time, and the causes of these four deaths within such a short period remain a tragic mystery.
— Charles Beal
Gravestones in Duck River Cemetery have stories to tell about the lives of those who passed before us in the Lyme region and the events that shaped the development of a Connecticut town, distinguished by its prominent lawyers and ministers, its shipbuilding and maritime trade, its architecture and scenic landscape, and its contributions to education, conservation, and the arts.