The Old Burial Ground

The Old Burial Ground: Photo credit: Allan Beranson

A Brief History of the Old Burial Ground

The First Town Meeting held Aug 28, 1727 was held in the house of Timothy Brigham, which stood on the Southeast Comer of the junction of Rte 85 & Rte. 30. The 7th article on the warrant was: “Then, proposed and voted that the place or piece of land next of the way west of Timothy Brigham’s house, formerly ruled and deeded in order for a burying place should be the burying place for our town in case it can be obtained”.¬† This piece was “three acres granted and set apart for accommodation for a Meeting House, for a burying place and for a training field forever.” The survey of the parcel of land was accepted December 20, 1727.

The Burial Ground was used until 1842 when it was declared full and the newer Rural Cemetery on Rte. 85 a short distance south of the old Burial Ground was put into use. Some burial plots had been set aside for wives and children in the Old Burial Ground and the latest stone marker for burial in the OBG is marked 1895, grave #8 in Survey. Grave #35 dated 1730 is the earliest stone.

Possible earliest burial Margaret Newton, Nov. 7, 1728.

There 319 stones in the OBG accounting for 365 persons.

There are many blank spaces and probably many more graves are there having no markers. In the 1938 Hurricane many fine trees were uprooted, shattering stones as they fell. A search of the town records shows there were a total of 819 definite burials in the OBG and 307 more possible burials for a total of 1126.

More information on specific burials can be found HERE