Cypress Cemetery Gets a Face Lift

Preserving history one stone at a time, the Westbrook Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount of $10,000 to the Cypress Cemetery Board of Directors, to be used for the costly repairs to repoint and cement all the joints of the 1850’s entrance to the stonewall that encapsulates the seventeen acres that is the Cypress Cemetery.

Damage to the historic wall was being caused by water getting into the crevices through top freezing, which was pushing out the stones and the mortar compromising the integrity of the structure, which by all accounts has not ever had any maintenance. According to President of the Cypress Cemetery Board of Directors Phil Bassett, without this grant, which has made these repairs possible, the wall would eventually completely crumble and fall apart.

“The residents of Westbrook are very lucky to have the Westbrook Foundation. It has helped so many different organizations and residents in town through grants and scholarship, that it is an invaluable part of the Westbrook community and we are very grateful for all that it has done for the cemetery,” said Bassett.
In the 90’s the Westbrook Foundation gave the Cemetery Board a grant to pave the roadways that run through the cemeteries grounds. According to Bassett, this infrastructure upgrade made the cemetery accessible to visitors during all seasons.

“Prior to the roads being paved, the dirt roads were very difficult to maintain during the winter months with the snow, and then in the spring they became difficult to travel on due to all the mud, so the paving has really made a big difference,” explained Bassett who oversees the maintenance of the cemetery.

This historic cemetery is the resting place of Barbara and Skip Spencer as well as several veterans from the Civil War right up through the Vietnam War. It is the only cemetery in town that is reserved specifically for Westbrook residents only, and it acts as a point of reference in the town.

“We are a poor cemetery, our only source of income comes from burials and plot sales and without the generous funds from the Westbrook Foundation we would not be able to keep up the appearance of the cemetery and be able to restore its historical character. We greatly appreciate all the Foundation has done for us as well as for other organizations in town and we continue to be grateful for the wonderful job it does in funding needed projects throughout the town,” concluded Bassett.

The cemetery grant was part of the Foundation’s spring grants which totaled just over $43,000. Each year, spring grant applications are due into the Foundation by April 1.