A wlak through the
Old Hill Burying Ground
Old South Burying Ground
Interviewed September 13 and 14, 1999
Concord Oral History Program
Coordinated by Renee Garrelick.
Old Hill Burying Ground
The Old Hill Burying Ground is one of my favorite places in town to just browse around. I just get such lovely reflections of our town history, our state history, our Revoluntionary War history, and the whole history of the whole United States that has spread out from our one little town of Concord. Just think of the people who are buried here: Col. James Barrett, John Beaton, Capt. David Brown, Reuben Brown, Col. John Buttrick, Hugh Cargill, Dr. John Cuming, Rev. William Emerson, John Jack, Joseph Meriam, Honorable James Minot, Peter Wright, Honorable Ephriam Wood and so many others that are not visible to us.
Let me say here that for the first 40 years of Concord's history, people did not have marked gravestones. They had to be very careful with the indians and make sure they were going to be friendly and get along with the indians and not let them know that they were losing strength if people were dying. So they made a very quick job of burying people when they died. They wasted no time in getting the person right into the ground and covered with leaves or dirt or brush, so that it wouldn't be visible or obvious that people have died. But after 40 years, in 1677, no problem had arisen and they felt secure and they started then to mark the graves, and Joseph Meriam is the first man to have a marked grave.
I like to start with this very first row of tombstones because it is such a wonderful example of old art work and what the old grave cutters did. For instance, the spelling. Now here lies the body of James Ruffell. Actually his name was Russell, and in those days they used an "f" for an "s" so we have James Russell as it should be. Also notice the art work on the headstone. This is a clue as to how old the stone is. This is an entire face, the angel of death with her wings, a real profile of her face with eyes, nose and mouth. Memento mori means remembered in death. Now here we have the "s" again for Russel but only one "l" all the same family. Now this is the famous Melvin family that when you got out to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and see the Melvin Memorial statue of Mourning Victory done by Daniel Chester French, these are the forebears of those boys for whom that statue is dedicated. Now this one tickles me because the difference between the "v's" and the "u's". They didn't have a "v" in some cases, so here we have David but D-a-u-i-d for David and M-e-l-u-i-n for Melvin, a "u" for a "v." You have to know these little tricks. Over here they were apt to make little errors and woe was the man who forgot a word, so here's a very good example that probably won't show in the picture. The quote is "So man lieth down and riseth not til the heavens be no more. They shall awake nor be raised out of their sleep" and he forgot the word "not" and he had to put n-o-t up over the quotation to give it its real definition. Again over here, the same family but spelled with a "u" instead of a "v."
Here we are at Hugh Cargill's stone. Huge Cargill was one of the early immigrants who had come not in the 1600s but in the 1700s, and he died at the age of 60. He was a benevolent man. He did a great deal for the Town of Concord. You probably can't read the inscription that says, "Mr. Cargill was born in Bellyshannon in Ireland and came to this country in 1774 destitute of the comforts of life, but by his industry and good economy he acquired a good estate and having no children, he at his death devised his estate to his wife Rebecca and to a number of his friends and relations by marriage and especially a large and generous donation to the Town of Concord for benevolent and charitable purposes." That money was what the Town of Concord spent for a home for the care of the people who didn't have any families or property or money. We call it the "poor farm" and that's a very sad name for the place, but it was his benevolence that saw to it that poor people were taken care of and that they would not suffer in their old age. The Hugh Cargill farm land and property was across from where the police station is right now on Walden Street and where the community gardens are.
Edward Wright was another one of Concord's first settlers. He was a fur trader and a great friend of Simon Willard apparently because they both came over here to establish a fur trading business for themselves. Actually he perhaps built, or lived at least, on the location where the Orchard House is right now, Louisa May Alcott's house, as far back as that. This white stone obviously is incongruent with the rest of the grey slate stones but it was put here later by members of his family who wanted to be sure he was remembered. There could have been an early stone here. He died in 1691 and that means he could have a marked grave, but it could have disintegrated or deteriorated for some reason or other, and so his family made sure that this white marker was put here in memory of him. Edward Wright and all his descendants were all benefactors of the Town of Concord. What we now call Fairyland, the lovely little wildlife park on Walden Street, was part of his grant of money to the Town of Concord.
Now you must know about Miss Abigail Dudley. She was a very benevolent lady to the Town of Concord. You have to appreciate what it says on her gravestone if I can read it. "The durability to perpetuate the memory and by its color (you notice it's white compared to all the other gravestones) to signify the moral character of Miss Abigail Dudley who died in 1812." Now she loved music and in her will she left a large legacy of money to the Town of Concord to be used for music in the meetinghouse. In those days they had very little music if any at all and singing was one of the ways people could provide music. To this very day when the choir master of the First Parish Meetinghouse needs some new music, he goes to the Abigail Dudley Fund and finds the money to buy his music. In those days of course, the meetinghouse, the church, was owned by the Town. The Town owned everything. They owned the building, they hired the ministers, they paid the bills, and it was just a town effort whatever happened in the meetinghouse.
Here we are at Ezra Ripley's grave. All the marking is simply "Ezra Ripley D.D." and passing by you would not ever suspect who this man was. But he was one of the most important men in all of the history of Concord. After William Emerson who had built the Old Manse and was the minister of the town the day of the battle in 1775 and left Concord and went off to Ticonderoga to help the troops as a chaplain and never did return because he died on his way home, his successor was a young fellow named Ezra Ripley. He was the pastor of the meetinghouse for 63 years which is absolutely the limit of anybody's endurance as a minister in town I believe. Being the minister he was regarded as the father of the town. He should have much more recognition than just his name, but do know this is where Ezra Ripley is buried. In the same tomb here, this is a long tomb, five families and the one on the far right says "White, Kettle and Thoreau." People ask what is this to Henry David Thoreau? Relatives is the answer. In Henry Thoreau's family there were four children, two girls and two boys, but none of them ever married and there were never any descendants from Henry Thoreau's family. This was his uncle who had married one of the Kettle girls, and then they married into the Whites also. So these are Henry Thoreau's relatives but not his close family.
I told you that for the first 40 years they did not mark the graves so many, many, many people are buried here and we have no idea who they are or where they were buried. We just know this was their burying place. But, of course, some people did do more permanent things as time went on and the indians were being friendly and all, and they didn't have to have a problem about it. I'm going to point to seven stones which are very primitive. This one for instance is just a very odd-shaped stone, nothing on it, no letters, no numbers, nothing, absolutely bare, but obviously representing somebody. This one the same, no marking, no letters, no numbers. Now here we do have the name of Luke Potter, but obviously it has been added in later years and not in 1697 when he died. I'm sure some of his later descendants had the letters put on there because they were positive that that was where he was buried, but the others have absolutely nothing.
This has a very rough scraping, scratching of some sort but I can't make out any letter or number but the emblem meant something to the family. This is why I think our first meetinghouse was located in this location. There has always been a controversy about where was the first meetinghouse in Concord. Some people say it was on top of the hill where it would be closer to God, where they could have an outlook for their enemies, and other people say no way would they have trekked all their stuff up that steep hill when they could have been right down on the ground where it was warmer, more convenient and obviously to some people a better place. Not a trace has ever been found of where it was located. But to me in the English tradition, if you've ever been to England, you know that the burying grounds surround the churches and the cathedrals and the more important the person was, the closer he was buried to the meetinghouse or to the church or the cathedral. If this were the case and these were our good English ancestors and if this was where they were burying their dead, it would indicate to me that very nearby was their meetinghouse so I think their meetinghouse was on the street level and not up on the hill. But that's just my opinion.
Another change in style here. We're moving on to the southeastern end of the Old Burying Ground and Mrs. Mary Brooks has a very fancy stone with her Mrs. the most important thing. No more weeping willows, no more bones and skeletons, just the bare facts but on the bottom a little advertising by the stonecutter. He leaves his name for you in case you would like to know who he was and where to find him, his name was A. MacDonald from Cambridgeport. This is just an interesting array of beautiful old stones and just think of the work that the stonecutters put into making a monument like this. Even to the extent of having a portrait of the man. This is Ephriam Brown who died in 1788, but he must have been a wealthy man to have a stone like this with birds and flowers and seashells and the story of his life as well. This also is the sad story of what weather and nature does to old tombstones. Every time there is a torrential rain on a slated downhill like this, we always get a little more damage done to the old stones and that's why they're getting crowded now because they are being pushed together. But also they had just removed a lot of trees, the old trunks are lying on the side here, which were dangerous and damaging the stones as well.
The most important stone in the whole burying ground is this one of Col. James Barrett, the man who led the troops at the Bridge. He was recognized for all his gallantry even to the extent of having his coat of arms put on his tombstone. That is a very costly thing to have done. But we still have the old skull and the crossed swords and the memento mori and back to the old spelling, Here rests, r-e-f-t-s. It takes too long to read the whole epitaph but he was a wonderful man. Beside him another one of the Barrett family, Deacon Thomas who also must have been a wealthy man, again with his own portrait and his coat and the buttons all showing. This monument here is dedicated to Reuben Brown and his family. They are the ones who lived in the last house along Revoluntionary Row here that has just been renovated. He was a saddler and the British passing by his barn saw his carriage and horse and helped themselves to his carriage to carry some of their wounded soldiers back to Boston in it.
Now this remains a mystery to everyone still living in the Town of Concord. No one has ever come up with who is buried in this old, old brick vault. It is in the very corner of the cemetery, obviously in a place of importance where no one else would be buried and Ruth Wheeler suggests that this could be where Rev. Peter Bulkeley and his family, also his son Rev. Edward Bulkeley who took his place. When Peter died, his oldest son took over as minister of the meetinghouse. It could be the place of their burial but there is not again a letter, a number, a figure, absolutely nothing to indicate what this is and who is buried inside. At one time it was deteriorating and had to be repaired, so Charlie Dee and Ruth Wheeler and I think Barr Wood and Charlie Voigt were the Cemetery Committee at that time and they were privileged to get inside and see what was in there. To be sure there are bodies and they were hoping to find perhaps a patchment or an emblem or a coat of arms, something that would indicate who the people were, but there is no such marking. So we cannot honestly say who is here, but I like to think it's Peter Bulkeley and his family and his son's family because we don't know of any other place they are. No one has ever suggested any other place for them.
Now we're at the top of the hill. The powder house is the little brick square building that you may see in a minute, but the three important stones that we're looking at are of the Buttrick family, Col. John Buttrick himself, his wife and his little son, John. Of course, it was on Col. Buttrick's own farm where the battle took place. It was his own hillside and after the battle was over, the wounded and dead minutemen were carried back up to his homestead at the top of the hill which is that beautiful yellow house still standing. His little son gets a marker. Can you see this marker? Any of the graves that have a marker means that they are Revoluntionary War heros and probably the SAR, the Sons of the American Revolution have placed these markers. I think there are something like 25 Revoluntionary heros buried here. His little son John was not old enough to carry a gun that day but they let him be the fifer so he was the fifer boy. This very square red brick building is the gun powder house where the gun powder was stored. It was not here during the Revolutionary War however. It was built we think about 1811. But it was a good safe place for storing gun powder up here on top of the hill in case of an explosion it would not be injurious to houses nearby. It is absolutely empty now. It hasn't been used since World War I.
We have three interesting stones here that are different from all the others in the cemetery. To my right, the brick structure with the granite posts is what we call a cenotaph. It is in memory of Rev. William Emerson. He was Ralph Waldo Emerson's grandfather who had built the Old Manse in about 1770 and was living in the Manse the day of the battle and watched the battle from the windows there, and was the minister of the town during the Revolutionary War. He was so anxious to urge all our minutemen and our colonials to become a nation of our own and because he had preached such exciting sermons to his people, he felt that he wanted to go and join his men. He didn't feel that he should carry a gun and shoot people but he could go as their chaplain and their spiritual advisor. So he was given the job of being a chaplain at Fort Ticonderoga. But shortly after he got there, he got camp fever from the soliders that was so prevalent in war bases and he became so ill that he asked to be relieved of his duties. They gave him a horse and sent him home but he never made it back to Concord. He only got as far as Rutland, Vermont. There he was so ill that he went into the minister's home in Rutland, Vermont where they cared for him for a couple of weeks but he died in their home. It was February and there was no way they were going to get his body back to Concord in the cold weather so they just buried him in their own family lot there in Rutland and his bones are still there. Now the Town of Concord erected this cenotaph in memory of Rev. William Emerson.
The other two flat stones do contain bodies, the first being the body of Rev. Daniel Bliss who was one of the ministers of the Town of Concord. His epitaph would take you 15 minutes to read it if you could. Unfortunately, weather is deteriorating the letters and it's a shame but he was a very important man in the town. This next one is also an important man named John Beaton, honest John Beaton Esquire. He was an immigrant from Scotland and arrived here with no money whatsoever, but he was a very cautious man and very crafty about earning money and became quite wealthy before he died. He got the nickname of "Honest John" because he never cheated anybody. He would even give a child a few common pins in exchange if he didn't have a half-penny change from the product that he had bought for their mother. He would simply put common pins on her dress and that would be the equivalent of a half-penny's worth of money.
We have a long line of Hartwells. Now the Hartwells were the famous family that if you go along the National Park Battle Road you pass the Hartwell Tavern and the Hartwell House. The Hartwells had a great deal to do with the success of our day on April 19, 1775 with the Lincoln Minutemen. At this time Lincoln was part of Concord so that is why they are all buried here in the Concord burying ground. If you go along the Battle Road and follow the National Park trails you will pass all the famous Hartwells. William, the father, died in 1690 at age 77 with his wife Jazan, a very strange name and no one has ever figured out where she came from or where her name originated. There were many Minots in Concord but Timothy Minot was one of the important people. He was the first teacher in the town. His house was about where the Monument Square is right now and where he held the school in his home. That house has now been moved further down Bedford Street and you can see it. It's a very tiny, little, old, old house painted grey now. But Timothy had been the first teacher. Now he had also been to Harvard College and had a degree and was very apt to make a very good minister. At this time there was a little difficulty with the minister of the day who sometimes was not able to make it up into his pulpit on a Sunday morning and therefore they would simply run over for Timothy Minot to come in a hurry and he would preach the sermon. Here we have an example of what weather and nature does to beautiful old tombstones.
Capt. Jonas Minot was a very important man and you had to know that by the size of his gravestone. He had to be a wealthy man in order to have a sizeable gravestone. Now his wife's has survived, Mrs. Mary Minot and unfortunately, Jonas's stone was tipped over during a storm and broken off. The Cemetery Committee not having money to repair it simply buried it as it was and we still have his name. But do know that his stone was just as high and important as hers.
I told you that the very first marked grave was for Joseph Meriam who died in April 1677, and this little stone right here marks his grave. Now this is not the original. If you see this in person, you would know this is not as old as the other stones. Obviously the original stone either deteriorated or was taken away for some reason and his ancestors in later years replaced it with this one here hoping to make it look like the original but obviously it is a newer stone, but it is the location of Joseph Meriam in 1677 when the first graves were marked.
Dr. Cuming was one of our famous colonial people. Dr. John Cuming, you're all familiar with the Emerson Hospital and the Cuming Building at Emerson Hospital was named for this man, Dr. John Cuming, Esquire. He had a very fine education even in Europe and was one of the doctors here in the Town of Concord the day of the battle and took care of anybody, any of the soldiers who were ailing or ill. It mattered not to him whether they were British or colonials, he took care of them anyway. His reputation was that he would never charge anyone for his services on the Sabbath day, so if you got sick on Sunday, you didn't get a bill. He also benefitted the town and the church by giving a part of the communion silver, and we still have the piece John Cuming gave to the church. He became very wealthly. He was fairly well off to begin with, but he invested in land and is credited for having developed the western part of the state of Massachusetts. If you remember there is a Cumington, Massachusetts, a little town out in the Berkshires. That was part of his holdings out there.
The most important and famous stone in the whole town of Concord at least if not one of the most important in the state of Massachusetts is the stone for John Jack. Now John Jack was a black African slave who lived down on Lexington Road before you get to the Orchard House. It seems that John Jack was a slave and had been for all his life mostly. Just before his master died, who was Mr. Barron and who was very fond of him, either gave him his freedom or John had earned his freedom, it's not clear which came first. But at any rate, by the time Barron had died John was a free man and his master Barron had left him a piece of land. This changed the whole picture. Now this black African slave was a citizen of the town. He was a landowner. He was a taxpayer. He could vote. He could sit in the front row of the meetinghouse if he wanted to, not up in the gallery where the slaves and the paupers had to sit before. He became a very good citizen of the town. Of course, he was uneducated but he was strong and able and very likeable and he was a great help to all the farmers in town, helping them get in their hay, or their potatoes, or their apples, whatever the season called for. When he died, he left his property to a lady named Vilet. I suppose it was Vi-o-let and they didn't know how to spell it and it comes out Vilet. We don't think they were ever married but they were the couple in the home, but she was still a slave. And slaves were not able to accept property therefore the land just reverted to the family where it came from in the beginning. But we're happy to say that I think in 1780 that the state of Massachusetts passed the Emancipation Proclamation and that made Vilet a free woman and we like to think that for the last seven or eight years of her life, she was able to enjoy some property of her own and died comfortably.
Now the importance of this stone is that during the time building up to the Revolutionary War, the Royal Governor kept sending out spies here to Concord to check up on the town and the people and see what they were doing. So one day a young officer was sent out here and he came up to the old burying ground because it was a good place to get a bird's-eye view of the village, and he watched what people were doing. When he got bored with that, he just amused himself by walking around and reading the epitaphs. When he came to this epitaph, he realized what a controversy this was, and therefore he copied it off on a piece of paper, mailed it back home to England to his mother, and his mother gave it to the London Times newspaper. The London Times newspaper went all over the world, so within a few months, this epitaph had been spread mostly around the world. For that reason the Smithsonian Institute came to Concord a few years ago, borrowed the stone, took it to Washington, D.C., and had a duplicate made of it. This is not the original. The original was destroyed in some way that I do not know. This is in case anyone else tries to destroy this, there will be a replica of the stone.
While we're standing here, I can point to an empty spot where there is no gravestone, but it is where Amos Wright, the man who was the tavernkeeper at the Wright Tavern the day of the battle on April 19, 1775. Poor Amos soon after the war contacted the dreadful disease, smallpox, and both he and one of his little daughters contracted smallpox and they died. Now in those days if someone died of smallpox they had to be buried immediately where they died. You could not carry a body through the streets of the town for fear of spreading the disease. And therefore all the smallpox victims who did die are buried in little private cemeteries throughout the town, and there are four at least that we know about. But Amos Wright living right here across the street apparently they gave special permission for him to just be taken up the hill here and buried. But for some unexplained reason, there is no marker for him and his little daughter.
One last story in the Old Hill Burying Ground and I'm being a little smug to tell this story but it's an example of what happens in a small village in early American history. Now remember there were only 20 to 40 families up to 50 families in this little village. Each family had 8, 10, 15, Simon Willard had 17 children, who else was there to marry but the girl next door. Now this is an example of my own family which tickles me to pieces. As a little girl I was brought up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and told about my ancestors, the Fletchers who had started the town of Concord. When I got my first job here, I looked up the Fletchers to see where they were and who they were. I married a man named Rusty Wheeler and one day he and I were browsing through the burial ground here and came to this very stone where Rusty's grandfather was William Wheeler and he had married Sarah Fletcher, my own great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, so my husband and I have been related ever since. This couple were married but we didn't know it. We were total strangers when we met, but it was fun to realize that we were cousins after all.
Old South Burying Ground
Now we have crossed the Milldam and we are now at the entrance of the South Burying Ground. It was also called the Main Street Burying Ground. Here in front of us on this tablet are the names of the most important families that you will find if you are looking for ancestors or the old founders of the town. For the first 200 years the people were buried either in this Old South quarter or the Old Hill where we have just been. It was about 1840 that these old places were filled up and then we spread across the street to what is now Sleepy Hollow.
Marked stones were in 1677 and in this old burying ground it's about the same era. Ebenezer Hartshorn was one of the first ones to be buried in this cemetery. The reason for two old cemeteries during this early on period is that the people were very superstituous and one of their superstitions was that you should never carry a dead body across a stream of running water. You figure out why they shouldn't do that. But this could be an explanation of why we have two cemeteries in Concord with only a few people in the town. Realize that the Mill Brook passes right under Main Street and therefore we are on both sides of a stream of running water. That is one explanation. Another could be that the Mill Dam was not wide enough to carry a coffin or not comfortable for carrying a coffin across the top of the old dam and also during flood times that would be a problem too. So there are several explanations as to why we have these two old, old cemeteries but they were both closed about 1840 when Sleepy Hollow started.
One of the earliest settlers was Nathanial Billings. He died in 1673 but we don't think he was buried here at that time. The monument has been added since in 1890 by some of his descendants, but Nathanial Billings was one of the very first settlers.
Now let's go over to the far corner to the Prescott graves. This is the far corner of the Old South Burying Ground but it is the plot where the Prescott family were all buried together, and you see these tiny little stones representing so many children that died early on. I think there are something like 20 members of the Prescott family buried here. It is just a touching sight of what happened in those days. Children died so frequently of diseases especially of smallpox if that ever got rampant, but just of ordinary causes too. A lot of sadness in those days. To the far right there are about 20 of those stones under the names of Jones. Of course, Jones is a popular name in the United States, but there are at least 20 of those stones that were all credited to the Jones family in Concord.
On this side of the Mill Brook all these families lived to the west of town. One of the early families was the Hayward family. George Hayward was the first white man to settle beyond the falls of the Assabet as the history book tells us. The falls of the Assabet is where Damonmill is today. He built the first grist mill and a lumber mill and the dam on Hayward Mill or Kennedy Pond whichever you want to call it, was the original spot where he built his dam for his grist mill. Now the name Hayward was hard to spell, and of course people didn't know how to spell in those days anyway so when it came to the stonecutter to spell the name, he just spelled it the way it sounded. Sometimes it is Hayward, it is Heywood, Haywood, on and on. Sometimes it was just Haward and in some cases that "a" got changed to an "o" and it became Howard. So we have John Howard who is a perfectly good Hayward family man, but on his grave he is known as John Howard. It is just an example of how the old spellings just got mixed up.
We can't overlook the Conants who were very much a part of the early history. They had the first fulling mill in Concord which is now Damonmill. And of course, the Hosmer family. And all these are the rows of Hosmer families who were not only very prominent colonists during the Revolution but a very strong family of strong-minded people. I think to this day there are still a few Hosmers left in Concord.
Our last stop will be for the stone for Rev. John Whiting. It is a very prominent stone with a little advertising on the bottom if you can read that. Mr. Wentworth of Boston did the art work on it. John Whiting was a very interesting man and the minister of the town. He was the fifth minister to serve the Town of Concord, but he did have a problem. It's sad to say but nowadays we would simply recognize him as probably being an alcoholic. But in those days you didn't use that word and it wasn't even known what the problem was, and so he is simply written up that he had a "fondness for the flowing bowl." But it meant that he really did have a problem and on Saturday's nights when he got too deeply into his cups, by Sunday morning he was not able to make it into his pulpit to preach a sermon. So after two or three years of this behavior he was dismissed from the church. But that wasn't the end. He had a lot of people who were very fond of him, and especially anyone who was not completely in favor with the theories of the meetinghouse and the ideas of the day, they got together and organized a new church of their own. In those days where the Concord Public Library is today stood a tavern, the Black Horse Tavern, and on Sunday mornings the Black Horse Tavern should be very empty because everyone should be in the meetinghouse at services. So this group of people rented the Black Horse Tavern on a sabbeth morning and asked Rev. John Whiting to be their minister, and they had a very happy communion among themselves for several years. The house was moved when the library was built over to Hubbard Street. You can still see it. It's about the second one down from the post office on the left hand side. So this is our Rev. John Whiting and he was very fond of music.
Now notice this very impressive line of Barrett graves. I think there are 15 if I'm not mistaken. The whole Barrett family were of course very important. That was the reason the British were sent out here in the first place that day to go to Col. Barrett's barn and confiscate all the ammunition and guns they would find hidden in his barn. But of course, by the time they got there, there wasn't a gun to be seen. The day before he and several other helpers had removed most of the ammunition off to another barn in Acton where it was hidden, and Mrs. Barrett and all her children and the hired man finished off the rest of the muskets by hiding them in the furrows of the field where they had been plowing that day. They covered them over with a little dirt and nobody ever found them. If you can stop and read all these epitaphs, you notice how many times the names are repeated especially Humphrey Barrett and Elizabeth Barrett and Benjamin Barrett and John Barrett. They just named their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by the same names. You notice that all the stones in this burying ground are facing to the west because in those days there was no such thing as Main Street. The Mill Dam was over the brook but the street had come out of what is now Walden Street, and what is now Keyes Road was the continuance of that road, and it went around to the north side of this old burying ground.
Filmed and edited by Rob Wilson, Concord-Carlisle High School.