Captain Sam Greele Monument – Wilton, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

Captain Sam Greele Monument

Wilton, New Hampshire

A small obelisk marks the spot where Captain Sam Greele was killed by a falling tree. 


Another in a long list of old and moldering mementos of times gone by, this memorial marks the spot where the life of Captain Sam Greele was tragically ended. 

Captain Greele was, in Wilton, what some would call a Big Deal. He was a volunteer soldier in the Battle of Lexington, built Wilton’s first gristmill, and was active in politics and town happenings. He lived on a farm with his father, who was addressed as Major Greele. He was a very prominent figure in Wilton, called “a man of public spirit” upon his untimely end. 

That end came about while the good Captain was on his way to a town meeting. In a freak accident, a gust of wind knocked over a decaying tree, as Greele rode straight into its path. He was knocked off of his horse and was killed instantly.

His grave sits mostly unattended, and succumbing to the ravages of time and nature. The only indication of care or attention at the site is a small American flag, standing proudly at the foot of the stone. Someone, somewhere, remembers.

The short and succinct description of the tragic accident is carved on the side of the obelisk facing the road. 


“who was suddenly killed by the fall of a tree, on the 25th of Sep. 1798 in the 46th year of his age”

Captain Sam Greele was an important enough figure to merit not only a grave, but also a monument that marks the place where his life was cut short. The Captain’s death location is immortalized with a marble obelisk surrounded by a rusted wrought iron fence.

Know Before You Go

Drive half a mile up Russell Hill Rd. in Wilton, NH and you will find this small roadside monument nestled in a patch old hemlock trees.

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