A tiny graveyard on the western slope of Lebanon Mountain, tucked away just off Route 20 in Bates Memorial State Park, remains as a very obscure local reminder of the legacy of the Bates family for whom the park is named, and a physical window into the curious story of the mammoth obelisk that very nearly got built there. It contains only a few simple headstones, clustered around a six foot tall granite cross marking the grave of Lindon W. Bates Jr. The cross bears the inscription Le vrai caractere perce toujours dans le grandes circonstances, true character always shows through in great circumstances.
The Bates family ghost house, near which the family began constructing a monument to their perished son, and from which, it is said, they rose suddenly from the dinner table one night and fled the place forever, leaving their belongings and never offering an explanation.
The Bates family first purchased 800 acres of land from the Shakers, building a summer villa named Lebanon Lodge between the Hancock and New Lebanon Shaker communities. #hikethehilltowns with the #westernmasshilltownhikers #hilltownhistory