2018-04-15 / News

Almont Historical Society to replace historic tombstone

810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com

The Almont Community Historical Society’s ‘Dollares for Deborah’ campaign came through with funds for a new tombstone for Deborah Burroughs Allen. The Almont Community Historical Society’s ‘Dollares for Deborah’ campaign came through with funds for a new tombstone for Deborah Burroughs Allen. ALMONT — It took 175 years to reduce Deborah Burroughs Allen’s tombstone to a pile of broken pieces, but it only took the Almont Community Historical Society’s “Dollars for Deborah” Campaign to raise enough money to replace the Revolutionary War widow’s monument and conserve the remains of the original for display at the museum.

Historical society president James Wade announced April 9 that the group had hit its fund-raising goal of $1,500.

The fund-raising effort will allow the society to replace the broken limestone tombstone with a simple gray granite one.

Allen was born in Fishkill, N.Y. in 1758 and her father James Burroughs moved the family to Pawlett, VT. in 1777 as British Gen. George Burgoyne led his army down the Hudson Valley. Allen met and married Capt. Parmalee Allen, a widower and second cousin to Ethan Allen, in Pawlett.

Wade said Parmalee first served on the “Enterprise” in Lake Champlain in May 1775 under the overall command of Benedict Arnold. He continued to serve until December 1781. His company fought at the Battle of Bennington, Vermont in the summer of 1777. Later that fall, his forces were instrumental in the defeat of British General Burgoyne’s forces at the Battle of Saratoga. It was the victory at Saratoga that convinced the French to enter the war and ultimately lead to independence.

After the war the Allens lived in Granville, N.Y., until Parmalee’s death in 1808 and then moved to Wales Township, N.Y. with her children.

Allen’s second son, William, moved to Macomb County’s Washington Township in 1822 and he and his son, George Washington, along with James Thorington and Levi Washburn, cut what would be become known as Van Dyke Road from the Romeo area to Almont in 1827.

One of Allen’s sonin laws, Hiram Hoyt, began a farm in Almont Township in the mid- 1830s and helped establish the Union Interring Cemetery, which would come to be known as the Sandhill Cemetery, in 1841. She died in 1843 and is buried there along with several other family members.

“Sometime in the 1920’s or 1930’s, Deborah’s grave was recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution as that of a patriot,” said Wade. “Once we have replaced the headstone, the Society, the DAR and possibly the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) will conduct ceremonies to rededicate the grave.”

Wade noted George Washington Allen helped James Deneen begin the first homestead in Lapeer County and when he married, his was one of the first families to homestead Dryden Township.

“The Society,” Wade said, “wishes to thank the community for its help in this effort. The Society members are proud to live in a community that values its heritage and history.”

For more information about Almont Community Historical Society activities, call Wade at 810-796-3355.

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