A Teacher’s Gravestone. Keene, New Hampshire

Gemmell Grave, Keene NH

Charlotte VanVleck Gemmell is buried in Keene, New Hampshire. For 28 years, she was an elementary school teacher in the area.

Appropriately enough, her gravestone is shaped like a teacher’s desk.

Gemmell Grave, Keene NH

As well as teaching, Charlotte was also a writer and even performed a one-woman play about Sarah Josephus Hale (author of “Mary had a Little Lamb”).

Next to the little stack of marble books, there’s a marble apple. It’s so well painted that, at first glance, I mistook it for real.

Gemmell Grave, Keene NH

This grave is completed with a quotation from Emily Dickinson (who is, herself, buried in Amherst, Massachusetts, not too far from here):

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,


Grave of Charlotte VanVleck Gemmell, in the shape of a teacher’s desk
Address: Monadnock View Cemetery, Keene, New Hampshire

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!


on “A Teacher’s Gravestone. Keene, New Hampshire
5 Comments on “A Teacher’s Gravestone. Keene, New Hampshire
  1. This is so cool. Thanks for sharing! Charlotte was my grandmother. She tutored me in reading and writing growing up. My grandfather passed away in 2013 and has a beautiful headstone right next to hers. Coincidentally, my other deceased grandfather is buried two lots to the right of Charlotte. His stone is in the shape of a baseball.

  2. The “teacher’s gravestone” is that of my mother, Charlotte. What a pleasant surprise to see it posted to your site! Thank you.
    Mark Gemmell, Minneapolis

  3. I am happy to have found this article. Mrs.Gemmell was my 5th grade teacher. She was one of my most favorite and cherished teachers, I have so many fond memories of her. I remember her reading Robert Frost to us with so much passion. She had a way of encouraging us to be the best we could be. She helped us nurture our friendships too. I moved that summer after 5th grade and she had me and three other friends to dinner to get together and share memories and stories. She is a treasured memory of my childhood. What a beautiful memorial stone for a beautiful woman.

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