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Bunker Garrison Graveyard included in Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

This is an amazingly beautiful site; a great many thoughtful people designed a trail that explores twelve different areas around the Great Bay estuary. Each destination can be found using the given coordinates or a map specific to that spot. The photography almost makes you want to investigate each attraction, explore and find the answer to a particular question. Explore ten of the twelve venues and you will receive a Great Bay Estuary mug for your excursions through the salt marshes. It is truly a great way to learn about Mother Nature, while keeping in shape!

However, officers of the Bunker Family Association are not pleased to see our little bit of paradise being thrust into the limelight. The peaceful Bunker graveyard is now a destination for wandering trekkers and explorers, hell-bent on finding Valentine Bunker’s 1852 death date. Thoughts of vandalism and/or tombstone desecration, is a source of “grave” concern – we are devastated. Elsewhere on the Bunker Family Association web site, pictures of previous acts of vandalism and storm damage are shown. Hopefully, visitors to Bunker Creek will respect the final resting place of our ancient ancestors.

Welcome to Bunker Creek!

The trail on this property begins behind the barn and leads you to the Bunker graveyard. This property has three major wildlife habitat attractions. The shoreline along Bunker Creek is prime waterfowl nesting habitat. The large white pine trees along the creek are potential eagle perch sites. The upland is maintained as shrub habitat, being rotationally mowed to sustain the habitat type, important to so many wildlife species.

Exploration logistics

Directions: East on Route 4. Take a left on Bunker Lane, park in the designated area. Access the trail to the left and behind the barn.

Terrain rating: Fairly level, easy terrain

Exploration time: Allow ½ hour

As you stand next to the historic barn, envision this property as a working farm owned by the Bunker family over 200 years ago. You may still be able to see a piece of old farm equipment, fruit trees that surrounded the house or even the cellar hole of the old farmhouse. The area behind the barn is maintained as shrub habitat. You may notice that sections have been mowed, keeping only fruit and nit bearing vegetation such as dogwood cedar and apple trees. The habitat is essential for species like woodcock, ruffled grouse and cottontail rabbits. Follow the trail behind the barn and end up at the sign to the Bunker Graveyard, a fenced in, quarter acre parcel that is the final resting place for 28 members of the Bunker family. To the left of the graveyard is what is historically noted as “Dirty Slough,” a small creek that flows through the salt marsh into Bunker creek and eventually into Oyster River. A garrison, circa 1655, was built by James Bunker on a knoll to the west of the graveyard and at one time was staffed by two soldiers. The garrison was said to be standing in 1892.

While you are here:

  • Find the date Valentine Bunker died.
  • Locate the cellar hole of the Bunker farmhouse.
  • Watch for cottontail rabbits and listen for ruffled grouse drumming.
  • Discover the “spiny” locust and “burly” ash trees.
  • Coordinates: N4308.119746 W70o 53 21.4917


The PDF file is also available here.

Posted in Bunker Family History, Genealogy Web Sites, Mapping.

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