At the top of Vermont’s Equinox Mountain, you’ll find the final resting place of Mr. Barbo, a most faithful servant of Dr. Joseph George Davidson.
Davidson was an executive at Union Carbide corporation, where he was partly responsible for essential 20th century inventions such as mustard gas, Bakelite, safety glass, and the atom bomb.
Towards the end of his prosperous career, Davidson began buying up land on Equinox, one of Vermont’s tallest mountains. By the time he retired, he owned 11 square miles and had paved twisting roads up to the peak. He lived there for the rest of his days with his wife and his beloved companion Mr. Barbo, a Norwegian Elkhound and Siberian Husky mix.
Tragically, when he was 12 years old, Mr. Barbo was shot and killed by a hunter on the mountain. Davidson banned hunting on the mountain, made a public plea for information regarding the perpetrator, and offered rewards, but the assailant’s identity has been lost to the ages.
The agony of the incident is now etched in granite under a portrait of Mr. Barbo: “We loved him and he repaid that love with an adoring devotion that only a dog could give. Shot and killed by a malicious hunter Nov. 24, 1955.”
The “no hunting” rule remains to this day. Dr. Davidson willed his estate to an order of Carthusian monks, providing they cared for his wife after his death. The brothers kept their promise and now the Davidsons’ estate is the Charterhouse of the Transfiguration, the only Carthusian monastery in the United States. They still keep up Mr. Barbo’s grave.
Know Before You Go
The grave is a short stroll from the visitor center, though the visitor center is only accessible by taking the Skyline Drive, a $15 toll road. Skyline Drive is only open seasonly, typically from late May to late October, and then only 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and then only weather permitting.